It’s really quite simple: The best way to prevent animals from being injured or killed on set is not to use them at all. With movies like A Dog’s Purpose, television shows like CBS’ Zoo, and the Super Bowl—the most important day of the year for commercials—this issue has never been more relevant. Luckily for animals, this issue has also never been more easily solved, thanks in large part to computer-generated imagery, or CGI.
As technology progresses—and as filmmakers learn how animals suffer from deprivation and abuse in the entertainment industry—the use of digital effects such as CGI to portray animals is becoming more common. Thankfully, a few industry giants took note when producing their Super Bowl LI commercials. Since so many of this year’s Super Bowl commercials featured themes such as kindness and inclusiveness, it’s fitting that animal welfare was taken into account. Take a look at these impressive, fun, animal-friendly advertisements:
Save the computer-animated whales and rhinos with Melissa McCarthy and Kia:
Tackle your sweet tooth with Skittles’ ethically designed beaver:
Stay healthy during the offseason with Wonderful Pistachios’ cruelty-free elephant:
Celebrate the biggest game of the year with Yellow Tail’s computer-generated kangaroo:
The proof is in the pictures: These commercials tell a story and entice audiences without using animals as props. Unfortunately, not every company got the memo. Enter Ford’s Super Bowl LI ad, for which a tissue box was shoved onto a cat’s head, and the animal was unable to escape:
Ironically, the ad tells viewers that “[n]o one likes to be stuck.” It seems that the producers failed to extend that line of thinking to the cat they deliberately distressed during filming.
There’s no excuse for mistreating an animal for film or television. Live animals are not props. They don’t get stunt doubles, and they can’t speak up when they need a break, as willing human performers can. Hopefully, in years to come, Ford will look to the future: cruelty-free advertisements that are always a big win for animals!