Smurf with Well-B robot
New Canal and River Trust Ad has a Secret Star
August 2, 2019
Beth Gregory

A brand new and uplifting ad for the Canal and River Trust has been making its way onto our TV screens over the past few weeks. The commercial features our very own animal actor, Smurf the Parsons Russel Terrier, front and centre, acting alongside a CGI partner.

Who is Well-B?

The advert introduces Well-B – a character that symbolises how we all feel when we’re low on energy – who discovers that the canals and rivers are a great place to spend time and recharge.

Not a fan of the hustle and bustle of busy streets, Well-B becomes incredibly tired and upset after spending too much time there. They drain all of their energy!

One thing Well-B knows for sure is that life’s better by water and the more time people spend there, the happier they seem! Well-B is able to join them and recharge to feel happier and healthier.

Smurf’s role

Smurf features throughout the advertisement numerous times acting opposite the CGI robot – a real skill for a dog! He does an excellent job and helped reflect the mood in both scenes which he did incredibly well. This clever Parsons Russel Terrier even manages to make himself look intimidating as he barks at the helpless robot!


                        Smurf with Well-BSmurf with Well-B

The advert uses Smurf to promote their message that spending time by your local canal is even beneficial to our four-legged friends as well as humans (and robots, apparently).

The reason for the campaign

This advertisement campaign was created to help show off the benefits of spending more time near your local canal.

Nicky Wakeford, Head of Marketing at Canal & River Trust said: “We worked very closely with the team at MSQ and challenged them to portray the huge role the Trust and canals and rivers can play in helping millions of people to feel better just by increasing the time they spend by water. Whether people are walking, running, biking, boating, fishing, resting, spotting wildlife or seeking a bit of headspace – there are so many fantastic ways to recharge by your local canal or river. We are thrilled with the campaign. It’s really exciting to convey how great life can feel by water in such an emotional and engaging way.”


Jamie Elliott, CEO, MSQ’s The Gate London, added: “We wanted to avoid the shock tactic clichés of charity campaigns to raise awareness of the unique work the Trust does and the unique feelings that the spaces they protect engender. Giving birth to a new character is always satisfying and we hope that Well-B attracts many future generations down to their local canal.”

Sources: MSQ Partners