Marketing to Pet Owners

Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR

When it comes to marketing to pet owners, pet brands have to work both smart and hard so they can stand out from the crowd. The most successful pet brands and their campaigns have been built upon authentic emotional connections with the target audience, which made them stand at the front of the minds of consumers. 

One thing that unites both pet brands and pet owners is the love for furry friends, and this is the exact emotional relationship that can be utilized when building strong relationships between brands and consumers. 

As marketer Rick De La Croix notes, “It’s not always easy for pet owners to choose the right brand for their pet and make a purchase, but oftentimes, they tend to go with brands that share their values and relate to them. That’s why when marketing to pet owners it’s important to create campaigns that will get their attention through an emotional component while relating to the pet owners and the relationships they have with their pets.” 

The marketing campaigns that tend to stand out the most are ones that are entertaining, humorous, and playful. When those campaigns are paired with effective communication of the identity of the brand, a company will be able to achieve a high rate of brand recall as well as a positive brand image with the consumers. 

Purina and BuzzFeed

One creative marketing campaign that involved a pet brand was a collaboration between the brand Purina and BuzzFeed. The campaign involved a series of short films that featured a number of different puppies. The films  ended up getting over 2 million shares online in the week after the campaign was launched. 

One standout short film was titled “We Met a Girl” where a pet owner went into a store that doesn’t allow dogs, with his puppy hidden in his jacket. While in the store, the pet owner meets a girl and celebrates this event with his dog when they get home. After that, the entire day of the dog and the pet owner is presented, while the pet owner gets ready for a dinner date, which ends with both people eating on the floor with the puppy. The film was created to promote Purina’s Puppy Chow line, which is targeted at young dogs throughout their first year. 

Friskies and BuzzFeed

Another creative marketing campaign that involved a pet brand collaborating with BuzzFeed was titled “Regarding the Big Game” and had several filmed parts for a short marketing film series for Friskies, titled “Dear Kitten”. 

For the video, the company utilized creative storytelling which made it quite relatable to pet owners who are interested in sports too. It was centered around the SuperBowl and featured an older cat teaching the ropes to a younger cat and explaining everything that happens while their owners get together for a SuperBowl with their friends, and how the cats can get food. With nearly 10 million views, it proved to be a very successful campaign for Friskies, and connected with the target audience.


About the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5wpr, a leading PR agency.