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Cute puppy Flash takes starring role in Guide Dogs’ 90th-anniversary push

Sight loss charity Guide Dogs has utilized puppy power to mark its 90th anniversary, drawing upon the animated charms of a cute yellow labrador to celebrate the work of a 14,000-strong volunteer army.

Taking over an entire advert break today during ITV’s Lorraine and Loose Women shows, the emotive piece is focused on the story of a very cute puppy called Flash. Shot in the style of a Pixar short, the ad shows meets Flash being introduced to her new puppy raiser Annie for the first time.

The promotional campaign then fast forwards through the trials and tribulations of a year of training as we see how Annie familiarizes Flash with a variety of different environments, while teaching basic obedience and instructing her how to ignore unfamiliar sounds such as traffic and lightning.

Squeezing 12 months of training into three short minutes, the piece ends with Annie dropping Flash off at Guide Dogs for her formal training, closing with a shot of Annie walking along the high street with her newest charge and a confident Flash leading her owner down the pavement opposite.

Created by Studio Kimchi, the main character is named after one of the first guide dog puppies raised in the UK in 1931 and is based on a real-life puppy currently in training with a family in Hertfordshire.

Emma Foulds, director of marketing and strategy at Guide Dogs, commented: “Whilst the charity sector has been affected by these uncertain times, taking the decision to invest in our brand and its future felt the right thing to do to raise awareness of our life-changing services and the vital donations and volunteers we need to keep them running.

“We celebrate our 90th anniversary in October, and we thought there was no better way to pay tribute to the backbone of our charity – our fabulous volunteers – helping people with sight loss live the life they choose. We hope the film brings to life the dedication and love that our volunteers give day in, day out and inspires people to get involved and sponsor a puppy like Flash.”

Flash is voiced by actress Joanna Page in a separate audio version of the advert created specifically for people with sight loss.

Guide Dogs began its focus on video last year with its Blind Hacks campaign by Zone, winner of The Drum Marketing Awards 2020.