Why Featuring an Animal in Your Next Branded Video Will Drive Sales
When you start planning your next branded video, consider making your star an animal. These furry friends have been proven to positively affect sales when featured in advertisements.
Even before the internet exploded with cat videos, people could see that animals had a profound impact on sales. One researcher from Texas, Barbara J. Phillips, published a paper on the use of animals in advertising. She found that they act as an effective communication tool for products because it helps people to connect emotionally to them.
Time and time again, brands like the ones below have seen a bump in sales after featuring animals in their video marketing campaigns.
One of the most memorable animals in advertisements to date is Taco Bell’s chihuahua. When Taco Bell added the beloved dog to its commercial sequence, they experienced favorable results. According to Sherril M. Stone from Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Taco Bell saw an increase in sales when they included the Chihuahua dog in their commercials — so much so that they continued the campaign around the dog until he passed away.
Purina’s video series Dear Kitten went viral on Youtube a few years ago. The video features an older cat sharing advice with the family’s new kitten, ending on his preference for Purina’s Friskies wet food. Marketing Land spoke with Rick Spiekermann, Purina’s social and digital marketing director, about the campaign and how it affected the company’s sales.
“Dear Kitten has grown into a franchise, with 50 million+ views… Audiences around the world love Dear Kitten and we’ve seen significant positive increases in our consumer testing.” — Rick Spiekermann, Director Digital.Social Marketing & Partnerships at Nestlé Purina North America
Budweiser released a series of commercials that featured animals like dogs and horses. The heart-melting videos went viral on Youtube, collecting over a million views. One of their dog commercials featured a man and his puppy over the years playing with each other. As they both get older, the man begins to go out with his friends, leaving the dog in the house alone. One night, the man does not come home and the dog waits for him, upset, until we learn that he didn’t return because he chose not to drink and drive. It’s a sweet moment with a great message, inspiring thousands of shares and likes. According to “The Psychology of Using Animals in Advertising,” animals evoke positive emotions in humans, which makes consumers create a favorable association between the animal and brand. Budweiser nailed this with their branded content over the last few years.
While most brands choose furry friends, Geico’s gecko became so iconic that it eventually became a mascot at sporting events, a symbol for their products, and even published his own book. When asked about the results of the gecko campaign in an Ad Age article, the CMO at Geico said:
“The fact is we analyzed results from running the first set of Gecko TV spots and liked the bump in business volume. We were able to attribute the increased business to the campaign and decided to move forward with additional gecko executions.” — Ted Ward, CMO at Geico
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By Lena Drake, Storyhunter Writer