(See how indifferent you are about this photo? That’s what we’re talking about.)
But what’s so bad about using this fact for marketing purposes? Smiling and happiness are contagious, so there is no reason for them not to become viral, in the digital sense of the word.
Of course, the idea of using animals in marketing is not new. Our mother and fathers have witnessed it countless times while they were kids, in the TV commercials featuring Tony The Tiger, Charlie The Tuna and Morris The Cat. All of those brand mascots were creations of advertising genius Leo Burnett, who understood the great emotional impact animals have on humans and learned all the benefits a mascot can bring to a brand.
Basically, this is the way for a brand to infiltrate pop culture if their campaign goes viral.
Morris The Cat shot 58 commercials within the 1969-1978 decade. He became so popular his secretary couldn’t defend him from his fans’ marriage proposals. Finally, he showed up in a movie “Shamus” and won an animal Oscar.
Needless to say, Morris was a mascot for cat food.
Unlike Geico’s Gecko The Frog, who isn’t a mascot for frog food, but for car insurance.
Rule #3: A sweet little hamster playing with his cat mom’s whiskers will definitely bait some clicks
Is putting animals just another gimmick that marketers grabbed a hold of in their quest for clicks, likes, shares and other kinds of engagement?
Even if it is, most of the users won’t mind.
Actually, if you do it just for the sake of better engagement, it will probably backfire at you. Wanna show me a mushy-gushy furry bundle licking its rear? Sure, go ahead. But I won’t buy anything from you if I am not your targeted audience. Maybe I will even unfollow you, as there is a bunch of other pages with cute animals that won’t try to sell me anything (just yet).
You remember the Budweiser commercials, right? This year they abandoned their little puppy hero and made a commercial about an immigrant who came to America to brew some beer. Is a beer commercial with the beer in it relevant enough or should they give up this boring thing and bring in some more puppies? From frogs and lizards, they employed back in 1990’s (burp), to elegant Clydesdales to puppies to bear. The world is getting boring.
Which brings us to…
(Ethical) rule #4: Use them, but stay relevant
Marketers generally love surprises and bold, presumptuous acts. Thinking outside the box, we call it.
However the sweet instant rise of our stats might be, we are still running a quest for long-term results, steady and loyal audiences who are genuinely interested in our client’s product or service, as well as the way it’s being marketed to them.
Play a game of honor. Don’t just trick your followers into clicking just so you could nail your stats.
Use animals like we did in this article. Cute images are not here to bait some clicks (although we won’t mind it) but to prove a point that you should use them only when there’s a good and sound reason to do so.
We know the images also made you feel good while you were reading the article, and we are happy for it. Paw power! 🙂
Did you like our furry little helpers? Let us know in the comment section ^^
This is all quite true – marketing and using animals can definitely attract clicks. All I can say is that I am a marketer and I don’t have any pet photos of pets as I don’t have pets. Thank God for stock photos!
I’m definitely a sucker for cute animals. I will admit, I always pay attention to marketing that has animals in it. If I didn’t have type of self control, I’d buy all the things, even if I didn’t need them, haha!