Lee Sin Man, Sharon
Have you ever imagined you can conduct a successful marketing campaign without spending a large sum of money? The budget of a campaign should not dictate its success, but rather how it resonates with its target audience. In 2018, leading dog food manufacturer Pedigree had the brilliant idea to “borrow” the influence of famous Instagram dogs to boost adoption rates for the less fortunate canines in shelters.
Every year there are 10 thousand stray pets found in France. Meanwhile, pet influencers go viral to engage ten times as many users as their human counterparts (Adweek,2016). These dogs in the shelter look like pet influencers, but their destiny is entirely different. Inspired by this contrast, – Pedigree ingeniously utilized the power of pet influencers to help their friends, creating the #Dogs for Dogs campaign.
Pedigree contacted the pet influencers’ owner and borrowed the account for the campaign. They took photos and created stories about homeless dogs as if they were pet influencers, then posted them to dogs’ accounts with thousands of followers such as @bibi_charly, a Jack Russell with 35k followers, and @blogofbruce, a Dingo with 34k followers.
Figure 1: The ‘real’ Charly
Figure 2: The shelter dog
Posts of homeless dogs looked identical to the pet influencers, which makes followers mistakenly think that it is the deity’s life photo as usual. Likes, comments, story reactions came rolling in before the news was announced that the dog lapping up their attention was actually an imposter from a shelter. After realizing that the “star dogs” that they “liked” were dressed up by the dogs to be adopted in the shelter, followers who are fond of the shelter dog could adopt them by clicking one simple link attached in posts and stories, which in turn introduce shelter dogs’ background.
Figure 3: Posts and story revealing the truth
Pedigree selected a perfect channel that allows them to get in touch with their target audience with a low or even zero budget. They do not need any ad boosting for dog posts, posts will pop up in their news feed constantly, and fans will like, comment, and share as they usually do. This method allows Pedigree to use the existing fan bases of pet influencers and hit pet lovers in a storm which helps Pedigree save a large sum of money on advertising and social media.
This campaign takes advantage of human attention to surprises, leading them to understand more about the dog adoption campaign. Posting info on dog adoption acknowledges people who have a higher chance to adopt a dog with similar breeding and appearance and allows them to imagine more concretely how good it would be if I also had such a dog at home.
Figure 4: Attached link for more dogs’ info
Pedigree’s effective marketing has brought them success, increasing the ‘Agir pour l’adoption’ page traffic by 62 percent, and 70 percent of all dogs were adopted.
It came as no surprise that this has become the most effective strategy Pedigree has ever had.
Adweek. (2016. November,9). This Agency Is Tapping Dogs, Cats and Even Pigs as Its New Network of Influencers. Retrieved March 6, 2021, from https://www.adweek.com/performance-marketing/agency-tapping-dogs-cats-and-even-pigs-its-new-network-influencers-174502/
Pedigree.(n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2021, from https://www.pedigree.fr/agir-pour-l-adoption