We’ve all heard about the power of the influencer, but have you heard about the power of the pet influencer?
For those of you unfamiliar, brand influencers are individuals who are compensated to create a sponsored post for a particular brand on their personal accounts across various platforms – these are typically social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Why would brands pay ‘normal’ people to create content for them instead of placing an ad in well-known magazine? Well, millennials (who have a radical $1.3trillion+ in buying power in the U.S.) are feeling that brands lack authenticity. According to Forbes, out of 1,300 millennials surveyed, only 1% said a captivating ad would make them view a brand as more trustworthy.
Queue: SugarBearHair, a hair care brand that continuously sponsors celebrities’ posts on Instagram. However, as brands can sometimes suffer the consequences of a celebrity spokesperson’s scandalous controversy, a brand can experience the same negativity through an influencer’s actions. In addition, brands must consider if they chose the ‘right’ person to represent their service or product.
Woof, yip, guau – that’s my dog saying “move over, silly humans, there’s a new pack in town!”Loki the Wolfdog, Nala Cat, This Wild Idea, Harlow and Sage, even Juniper The Happiest Foxall have enormous followings on social media. Believe it or not, pet influencers such as these can garner anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 per sponsored post! Brands like JetBlue, Mercedes Benz, and J. Crew have all used popular pets as brand influencers. Dogs are especially sought after for sponsored content because, as Rob Schutz, VP of growth at Bark & Co. said, “dogs are a common denominator for everyone, and they’re safe, because everyone likes a cute or funny dog.” Plus, brands are able to tap into a new extended audience! More and more brands recognize this rationale – your brand isn’t going to get any negative spin-off from a pet influencer, just endless warm fuzzies inside. (I probably follow more dog accounts on Instagramthan any people.)
Check out a few of Hype’s favorite brand/pet partnerships below.
Mercedes-Benz and Loki the Wolfdog
Loki, a half wolf-hybrid, is currently sitting pretty at 1.1 million Instagram followers. Loki and his dog-dad, Kelly Lund, are constantly exploring and taking in Mother Nature – from jogging along dad snowboarding to Loki beating him to the top of a mountain, this duo is always on the go. During the 360° ad experience, Mercedes-Benz takes us on a day-in-the-life of Loki and Kelly, while enduring snowy Colorado roads.
What began as the dog duo Instagram account of Harlow and Sage, is now Harlow, Indiana, and Reese. Country Living Magazine partnered with these darling dogs in a one-day ‘takeover’ of the magazine’s Instagram account. Consequently, Country Living’s Instagram handle was exposed to the 1.3 million followers Harlow and Sage had already established. In return, the Harlow and Sage account also received more followers, as the handle was included in each Country Livingpost on the ‘takeover’ day.
As much as we all love dogs…it’s crucial for brands to keep the ‘fit’ of their brand and the furry influencer in the forefront of their minds. It’s then that brands appeal to the emotions, and consumers will appreciate the authentic and shareable content.