A combination of cute canines and top tennis stars proves to be a smash hit for ASB

PhotoSport
It is a well known fact that the internet loves animals.

According to CBS, a remarkable, nigh-on unbelievable 15 percent of internet traffic is cat-related. Dogs probably aren't far behind and, as an added benefit for marketing folk, when it comes to creating a cool, new ad campaign you can train them to do almost anything (especially if Mark Vette is involved). We all remember Mini and the SPCA's oh-so-popular collaboration on 'Driving Dogs'. And ASB recently found that dogs doing cool stuff alongside a couple of high profile tennis stars made for a wining formula. 

As part of ASB's ongoing sponsorship of the ASB Classic tennis tournament, the bank and its agency Saatchi & Saatchi created a digital campaign called 'The Best Ball Boys in the World'. Only these ball boys weren't young humans. They were three well-trained canines with a passion for playing fetch.

The spot was filmed by Augusto at an exhibition match two days before the tournament started, which gave the team at Saatchi & Saatchi a tight turn around to get the piece put together and signed off. 

So far the video has proved to be a hit internationally with the likes of Mashable, Yahoo Sports, MSN, USA Today, The Washington Post, ABC’s Good Morning America, Sports Illustrated and Britain’s Daily Mail covering the story. Combined, these media outlets have nearly 750 million unique browsers per month. And there was also plenty of coverage of the video in local media and on a number of international sports sites. 

Although the video post on ASB's Facebook page was sponsored, the clip had over one million views within two days, as well as over 41,000 shares and 25,000 likes. The YouTube views did not pile up as quickly but have now reached more than 2 million. 

The clip was helped along by both Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova sharing the video a couple of times each through their various social channels. Williams was particularly fond of the star of the show, Super Teddy, an eight-year-old Jack Russell/Norfolk Terrier/Miniature Schnauzer cross and winner of the 2014 New Zealand Clever Canine Competition. Williams couldn't resist posting a photo with the dog on her Twitter account.

Saatchi & Saatchi co-executive creative director Corey Chalmers summed up the campaign well. "Dogs, tennis balls and global tennis stars. Surprisingly, a combination that hasn’t been put together before, something that Venus herself commented on when the dogs came out. Naturally we had a lot of fun making this and having Venus and Svetlana involved was a wonderful bonus for ASB and ourselves."