IAMS: Good for Life





To the casual eye, this IAMS dog food advertisement seems like the average picture, sporting smiling faces, perfect lighting, and bright colors. The background image takes place on a beach, and overlapping it is a photo from years earlier. In each image, we can see that both the boy and the dog are satisfied with what they are doing and where they are. The location of the “current” image suggests that after some years, the pair have become increasingly adventurous. In fact, although in both images the dog and the boy seem happy, it is in the current image in which they both “smile”. This captivating advertisement not only calls attention to the companionship of the boy and the dog, but may also influence viewers into believing that IAMS dog food will bring about exciting variations of adventure and ongoing happiness.

A main focal point of this advertisement is the older boy and dog, walking along the beach. After seeing this, you might then look to the words in the corner, which say, “THEN. NOW. IAMS.” Slightly beneath the words we see a photograph of the boy and dog from years before. These three main aspects of this advertisement grab the attention of viewers, and help to influence the purchase of IAMS dog food.



Comparing and Contrasting the Main Images

Next, we can compare the two images in this picture – the current main image of the boy and dog, and the apparent old photograph. We can note the difference in location – the current picture takes place on the beach, while the photo’s location appears to be a room inside a house. What does this do to promote adventure? Does this insinuate that as the two grow together, adventure and happiness increase? Note the dull colors of the old photo, then contrast them to the inviting color scheme of the main background picture. Again, this refers back to one of the primary purposes of the advertisement – that with IAMS dog food comes exciting new adventures!

Continuing to compare the two focal images in the advertisement, we notice the attitudes of the subjects in each image. In the photo, the small boy has a solemn look on his face. He seems satisfied, but not “happy” per se’. Beside him is the dog, whose attitude appears to match the boy’s – content, yet gazing blankly as if the situation of boredom could be remedied by an activity. However, the “current” background picture of the boy and dog shows that both are extremely content and happy, as far as can be told from the boy’s smile and the dog’s tongue hanging out. The contrast in these images may further symbolize the ability of IAMS dog food to provide energy for adventure, and to create smiles in humans and canines alike.

Next, look where the boy is focused in each image. In the photo, the boy is staring blankly away from the photographer. It is like is looking forward in time. Looking into time is another way in which we can see future success in life, and it could be translated here as seeking continued health and strength. Contrary to what the photo exhibits, the current image of the boy and dog shows them looking directly at the camera. This may display the energy of being “in the moment” and thus support the status of the words below, “so you can always look forward to what’s next,” which may be lasting happiness and companionship.

Another thing to notice is that in both images, the boy and dog are focused solely on each other. Neither of them are distracted by anything! In the photo, both boy and dog could be distracted by the green, plush toy frog to their right on the floor, or what looks like another toy under the chair to their left. In the beach scene, although we can’t see any, we can assume that beyond the camera are multiple potential distractions. Although distractions are everywhere, we can point out the exclusivity and focus of both companions to one another in both situations. Because the general theme of the advertisement is companionship and happiness, this particular aspect serves as a bond between what causes the relationship and what strengthens the relationship – loyalty, attachment, and commitment.


General Focus

At the bottom of the advertisement, there is a green strip with three bags of dog food set over it. As we an expect, the food is IAMS – but what we may not at first realize is that each bag targets a different age. In fine print, the yellow bag reads “smart puppy.” The green bag suggests the food is for an adult dog. The purple bag is also for an adult, but since the print is so small we don’t know for what age it is intended. To further communicate the target age of dogs, small pictures of various sizes of dogs are printed on the bags to illustrate. This illustration supports another phrase of the ad, found near the bottom: “IAMS. Good for life.”

IAMS’ main promotion is the focus of the consistent intimacy between humans and dogs throughout their lives. This idea is tied together with the main statement, “THEN. NOW. IAMS”, and the inclusion of two images which exhibit this theme. The main image, a scene of the current boy and his dog, shows the companionship of the two later in life. Here, the dog’s face shows patches of gray, and his body build is the type an older dog might have – bony and lean, due to years of high level activity. Leaning over the dog is the boy, who is now around age 16 or 17. Overlapping this image is a photo of the boy and his dog when they both were little. Below the images, bags of dog food are shown for all ages of dogs. These aspects assist in promoting the company’s theme that IAMS is ideal for any dog throughout life, and that with it will come lifelong human companionship.

Perhaps the most uniting of all the aspects of the advertisement is the biggest, boldest statement: “THEN. NOW. IAMS.” The wording here encompasses nearly all of the physical and interpretive angles of the illustration. This phrase helps to insinuate that IAMS is not only purchased at one time of life, but continues to influence happiness, ongoing adventure, and the aspect of companionship. IAMS unites man and canine as apparent best friends throughout life.


Cited Source: “THEN. NOW. IAMS”. Magazine advertisement. Family Circle March 2016.               Print. 2016

THEN. NOW. IAMS”. Magazine advertisement. Family Circle March 2016. Print. 2016