Canadians might remember a certain advertisement that aired in the nineties featuring a popular little animal that definitely did not exist. The House Hippo ad premiered in 1999 and quickly became a Canadian phenomenon. Now, 20 years later, the House Hippo is back (and he's helping himself to your electronics).
The original House Hippo campaign came from the Concerned Children’s Advertisers.* Now, MediaSmarts has taken up the mantle with the new House Hippo ad for Media Literacy Week (which runs from October 7 to 11). The return of the House Hippo is part of the organization's Break The Fake campaign, which focuses on how to determine if a news story is untrue.
Tips that are offered up on the website include using fact-checking tools, following the link for the news story instead of just reading the headline, and checking multiple sources.
Of course, the real story for most people is that House Hippos are back, and in 2019, they're "admiring their reflections, hoarding socks, helping themselves to your devices, and annoying your pets," according to the newest ad.
A series of other short clips also features the House Hippo hiding in shoes, riding a Roomba, and sleeping in a pile of socks.
Canadians seem to be overjoyed at the imaginary animal's return, expressing on Twitter just how happy they are to see the admittedly adorable House Hippo again. They also still want to keep one as a pet.
"My inner 90s kid is thrilled the House Hippo is back to help us all be a bit more media savvy. Also, I *still* want one for a pet," wrote @thepinkscoot.
"At 33 years of age, I still wish I could have a House Hippo," wrote @Mikaufoxy.
The original House Hippo ad was aimed at kids and carried the message that they shouldn't believe everything they see on television.
Obviously, the message was somewhat lost behind the fact that House Hippos are just too darn cute. Hopefully, the House Hippo becomes a television staple for a new generation of Canadians.
*This article has been updated.