Pet Friendly Marketing

Pets in Marketing

Marketing is all about psychology. It’s about engaging people with things that you know they resonate with. This fits in nicely to my previous blog Psychology of Color. Adding an animal like a dog or cat to your marketing campaign can change your trajectory movement and your brand. Pets have outpaced children in households. According to Statista, 84.6 million households are pet owners as compared with 52.8 million are homes with kids. 

Pets Appeal to Emotion.

Animals appeal emotionally to people. A staggering 68% of Americans have pets in their household. Even people without pets have an emotional connection with them. Looking at animals in commercials has been shown to invoke an emotional, connected response, and when they are used to help sell a product, the brain makes a connection making it easier for them to remember your brand. 

Let’s take a look at how you can use a specific type of animal/pet to say a specific thing about your brand or campaign. 

      • Dogs- The dog is a symbol of a companion and guardian. Dogs are positive and are associated with loyalty, faithful, honest, and willingness to fight injustice. In this category, the most popular breed is a Frenchie. 
      • Cats- symbolize fertility, power, and beauty since ancient times. The cat is a symbol of spiritual power, freedom, love of liberty, and even bad luck in Japan. The most popular cat on Instagram is a Nala cat (Nala is a Siamese and Tabby mix)
      • Horses-  Stands for freedom. luxury, elegance, social status, and royal dignity. (Clydesdales for Budweiser)
      • Hamster- Symbolizes abundance, guides to move towards opportunities, having fun & enjoying life (Do you see why Kia chose the hamsters?) 

The Proof is in the Pudding

The contest drove engagement rates 63.2% higher than the average US Bank post. What’s more, it associated US Bank with something fun and popular—a love for dogs. This increased engagement and gave people a reason to engage with US Bank on more than just a checking account. 

Still, need evidence that including a pet in your marketing plans increases engagement?  Let’s review a few of the most successful campaigns that include an animal in their campaigns. 

Subaru- The Barkleys This campaign started in 2009 and went through the end of 2019. Subaru then released another commercial with a three-legged dog to encourage pet adoption. These campaigns resonate with Subaru’s base customers as they are outdoorsy dog lovers. This has helped Subaru increase engagement while also advertising their cars. 

The Aflac Duck debuted in 2000, they have been using the duck in their marketing campaign for 20 years. Aflac made advertising history and became an international powerhouse. Since then, the Aflac Duck has appeared in more than 75 commercials and has helped catapult Aflac into a household name. AFLAK is a US company based out of Georgia but also has a large market in Japan. Since releasing the AFLAK duck campaign in 2003, 9 out of 10 people in Japan know the AFLAK brand. 

There are endless successful marketing campaigns involving pets/animals in the marketing. Don’t miss out on a big opportunity get the golden doodle and snap some photos with your products to increase your engagement. 

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  1. Sandra Noble

    Good post. Are there businesses where pets are not appropriate for marketing?

    1. Brittany Brown

      Pets are not off-limits for any business. Do you have a specific business/industry in mind?

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