Marketing To People Who Love Animals

October 23, 2012

I count myself lucky. For at least a part of my career, I spent time each week viewing, aggregating and curating dog videos for a website I once worked on. After a while, I acquired a skill for categorizing these clips into a few standard marketing types, which I thought might be fun to review here.

The first category includes the sad-sack sob story videos about lost and forgotten pets badly in need of adoption. I call these the “dogs in jail” videos typified by Pedigree’s TV commercials. Great production values. Strong tug-at-your-heartstrings emotional appeal. But one or two of these and I run screaming from the room because marketing through guilt has its limits.

Another popular category involves pets doing tricks and performing unexpected feats that cause you to wonder whether people have nothing better to do with their time than spend months training their pets to do silly stunts. Over the years, I learned that David Letterman provided the best source for these clips, making it easy for me to set up alerts and feeds for the newest ones to come along.

My favorite category includes talking dogs and among these videos I found two sub types. Videos of dogs who woof out sounds that sound vaguely like human language. Many of these amount to the same old thing and if you’ve seen one or two you’ve seen them all. Miska stands as the poster dog for this type of video with her famous “I Love You” video, which enjoys almost 80 million views. I understand from a reliable source the fame has gone to her head.

The second sub type uses human voiceovers in sync with the dog’s mouth movements to show what a dog would say if a dog could talk. These can be hilarious and my favorite is the now famous Dog Tease video. Even if you are among the 120 million viewers who watched this video in the last year, take a second look and enjoy the clever approach and subtle wit.