Every marketer knows that the key to any audience’s heart is simple: animals and babies. I mean, is there anything higher on the cuteness scale?
Of course, while many brands want to jump on the adorable bandwagon, it’s difficult for most to effectively utilize either in their marketing, especially pets. However, those who do tend to succeed, especially on social media.
Today, Instagram has given way to a new kind of celebrity, one of the furry variety, and many pets have followings that rival those of their most famous human counterparts. While celebrities have historically been the holy grail for marketers – just look at what Matthew McConaughey did for Lincoln – people are simply not as universally adored as animals. That’s why fans were outraged when Budweiser decided to create a 2016 Super Bowl ad that did not include the adorable labrador puppy that stole the show in 2014 and 2015.
But why the sudden craze? For one, pets create an emotional attachment and pet ownership is at an all-time high in the US with 65% of households having a pet. For brands, this means tapping into the psychology of animal owners by leveraging pet influencers. The top dogs (literally) of social media, Toast the King Charles, Loki the Wolfdog, and Marnie the Shih Tzu, all act as brand ambassadors and earn between $2,000-$3,500 per deal, according to Digiday. For audiences, this means creating positive associations between the animals we know and love on social media with brands they endorse.
Alexa Biale is a Brand Marketing Manager at NewsCred.