We Dare You Not To Click! How To Combine Cute Pet Images With Marketing


Let’s imagine we’re making a commercial right now.

Everyone knows that milk is good for their children’s health.

And nearly everyone would click on this gif if it was a commercial for a company which sells milk.

People would click on it even if it was a commercial for a non-slippery wooden floor. I can already hear the motto “Help your dog run faster even with a milk carton in his mouth”.

Or something like this: “Socks that are so cottony that your pooch will leave them be and steal some milk instead.”

Now, imagine a hundred little furry balls with padded little paws and waggy tails carrying milk cartons. A collective “Awwww” sound would fill the Earth.

A common denominator of all of these imaginary scenarios isn’t the subject matter that is being advertised, but the pooch itself, in all its simplicity and cuteness.

No, no, cat lovers. We won’t leave you or your meowy purry little friends out of this conversation. Marketers never ditch great attention-grabbing opportunities.

Here are a few of the reasons why they use this particular opportunity, which Hubspot has identified as one of seven shameless marketers’ tactics of attracting the audience.

Rule #1: An adorable animal can wiggle and waggle its way into any story

Just like we showed with the introductory example, a promotion of a product or service doesn’t have to be about the product or service.

Budweiser is just one of bazillion brands that understood this rule and used it. In their 2014 and 2015 Super Bowl commercials, the hero was a pup.

A puppy and his best friend, a Clydesdale, awww!

And the following year…

But wait, let me get this straight. The horses saved the puppy from the wolves because they drank beer? Should I drink beer if I want to make friends with a horse? What does beer have to do with it?

Exactly. Don’t think it over. Just turn the commercials on, grab a beer and… Not popcorn! Don’t be so heartless… A pack of tissues, of course.

These commercials had a good destiny because there were stories to them that were deep and universal. Perhaps a little bit too universal and broad, but people went bonkers nevertheless.

Rule #2: Cute animals make us happy

Instead of lamenting over the fact that marketers will spoil and monetize everything they can take advantage of, let’s consider some of the reasons why it’s not so detrimental after all.

A pet on the screen makes me grin. Even studies have proved the beneficial impact pet videos have on our psyche. Procrastination, give me a break.

(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 ^^

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    • stacey veikalas
    • April 27, 2017

    All so true everyone stops & clicks to look at the animal pictures, memes and videos! Love this!

    • E H
    • April 27, 2017

    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!

    • Katrina gehman
    • April 27, 2017

    marketing with animals grabs people’s attention. if it’s not broken why fix it right?

  1. Reply

    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!

    • Michelle Waller
    • April 26, 2017

    I have learned that anything with a cute animal picture always does great. Animals are just so stinkin cute!

    • Jason
    • April 26, 2017

    A very good suggestion. Any short video and that too of a pet,is ofcourse an eye catcher.

  2. Reply

    Pets are always a hit especially when it comes to posts online. I think it’s really going to help you with marketing. These are awesome suggestions on how to do just that.

    • Blair villanueva
    • April 26, 2017

    Yeah so true. For my reviews sometimes I include some funny photos of my cat, and adding it with memes coz it makes readers laugh 🙂

  3. Reply

    Yeah! those animal pictures always get me… A better ad then just facts…

  4. Reply

    Animals and babies can help sell a lot of things. I do like furry baby animals,

  5. Reply

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I love to click photographs for my little dog noddy and these tips will help me in marketing his photographs.

  6. Reply

    I think cute animal memes and gifs are a great marketing tool. Many people are animal lovers.

    • robin rue
    • April 25, 2017

    People definitely seem to be enthralled with animal videos. They are a great marketing tool.


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