Cats, Dogs, Brands and Social Media
It was just a few weeks ago, on a Tuesday night (October 4). Two men vying for the second highest office in the land, Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, were debating each other before an audience of millions and frankly, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
I was looking at a Facebook Live video being broadcast on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s Facebook page that was showing the television broadcast of the event. However, in front of the screen was a large pen full of cute, little kittens divided by two separate carpets, one red and the other blue, with a box of kitty litter in the middle labelled, “Undecided.”
I was literally laughing out loud.
If you’re looking for attention from the masses, you can’t go wrong by hitching your social media wagon to anything to do with this year’s tumultuous election season, of course. All eyes have been on that runaway freight train of a news story. It’s been a perfect newsjacking opportunity if ever there was one.
But the time and circumstances have also been quite rare. At least let’s hope so.
What’s always in vogue are cats and dogs.
After all, pretty much anything to do with politics is a hot-button issue. Cats and dogs? Not so much. People love their pets, not necessarily their elected officials. And the savviest social media marketers will try to take advantage of this fact.
For instance, here are 10 ways businesses and brands – excluding any pet-related brands, per se – include cats and dogs in their social media to attract an even bigger audience…
1. TODAY Show on Instagram
A photo posted by TODAY (@todayshow) on
What a cute picture! What a great idea! Add a puppy to the cast of regulars and you have a win-win all-around. Charlie follows in the paw prints of his predecessor, Wrangler, who left the Today Show to “work” as service dog for Guiding Eyes for the Blind https://www.guidingeyes.org/. Charlie is being trained to be one of America’s VetDogs http://www.vetdogs.org/. In the meantime, he’s taking advantage of more than his fair share of photo ops on the set.
2. Boston Red Sox on Twitter
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) June 27, 2016
Not that the Red Sox need any help in filling seats, but this sure is a great way to attract a few fans, including those of the four-feet variety, to the ballpark. If every dog has his or her day, what could be better than spending that day at Fenway Park (even if there isn’t a game being played)?
3. Best Western on Instagram
A photo posted by Best Western® Hotels & Resorts (@bestwestern) on
I love the fact that Best Western made the dog the star of this photo. How can you resist looking at it, never mind wanting to caption it? Man’s best friend is a marketer’s best friend, too.
4. Ralph Lauren on Twitter
— Ralph Lauren (@RalphLauren) August 26, 2016
Thanks to the emergence of social media and the ubiquity of pop culture, every day is a holiday. And the savviest brands among us make sure they’ve included themselves in that celebration, newsjacking the conversation about it on social media in some way, shape or form as Ralph Lauren so smoothly does here.
5. Katy Perry on Facebook
She’s a big rock star and a huge brand who, according to Trackalytics http://www.trackalytics.com/the-most-liked-facebook-fanpages/page/1/, has the 25th most-liked page on Facebook. She’s Katy Perry, her fans are KatyCats and this is a purr-fect example of how well felines play on social media.
6. Target on Twitter
— Target (@Target) October 12, 2016
Demonstrating a knack for newsjacking, the team behind Target’s Twitter account does a great job of taking advantage of a trending hashtag not only to be cute, but to drive traffic back to the store’s pet costumes for sale before Halloween.
7. 29 Sudbury on Facebook
Happy Hour may be illegal in the state of Massachusetts, but no one said anything about Yappy Hour. What a great idea! Not only is this a very clever way for 29 Sudbury to attract customers, it’s an excellent example of cause marketing, promoting your business while also raising funds for a good cause.
8. Volkswagen on Twitter
— Volkswagen (@Volkswagen) August 8, 2016
In this clever video, Volkswagen jumped on the International Cat Day bandwagon and used a handful of fluffy felines to demonstate how its Driver Alert System works, showing them springing to attention whenever the warning bell sounds.
9. American Express on Instagram
A photo posted by American Express (@americanexpress) on
Blending in nicely with the Instagram environment, American Express includes a clever, colloquial caption along with this picture of a dog and his or her shipment of treats, toys and Tchochkies from BarkBox. This post has got it all going on – product placement, hashtags, URL, you name it – and nearly 1,000 likes to show for it.
10. Gemmyo on Twitter
— Gemmyo (@GemmyoParis) July 8, 2016
I don’t know what a pink cat has to do with precious stones, but apparently this French company’s advertising is as innovative as its phenomenally popular line of personalized, made-to-order jewelry.
Note: This post, “Cats, Dogs, Brands and Social Media,” was originally published on ClickZ on October 27, 2016, here, on LinkedIn on December 14, 2016, here — and a version of it was published on the Overdrive Interactive blog on November 3, 2016, here.