3 Digital Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From Celebrity Pets
877-655-8227

Blog

Cele-purr-ties of Instagram: 3 Digital Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From Celebrity Pets

Junior Copywriter
June 29, 2017

Tuna, Lil Bub, Doug the Pug, Marnie, and the well-known Grumpy Cat. You know them, you love them, and so do millions of others. They all have their own books, toys, and a combined 10.6 million followers. These pets all have something in common, and it’s not just that they’re cute. It all comes down to this one, very important factor - good digital marketing. In fact, we could all learn a thing or two from our favorite Instagram furballs.

 

1) Brand associations

Take Courtney Dasher, the owner of Tuna (if you think you don’t know Tuna, you’re wrong - you’ve definitely seen a meme of him), commonly known by his Instagram handle @tunameltsmyheart. Dasher recalls a successful CEO once telling her, “Without knowing it, you've started a start-up company quicker than most, because you have a real understanding of what your brand is.”

Throughout the past five years of fame, Dasher has kept Tuna’s brand as authentic as possible. She’s turned down major money when she doesn’t think that the offer is a good fit for Tuna or the brand. What the Tuna brand does include is raising awareness and finances in support of animal rescue shelters since Tuna himself is a rescue pet.

 

Tuna dog celebrity

 

Other Instagram pets find themselves in the same boat - a position of power, where they can do good, such as Lil Bub, an adorable, disabled cat owned by Mike Bridavsky.  In 2014 Bridavsky created Lil Bub’s Big Fund, which works with the ASPCA and is the first national fund for special needs pets in America. So far, they’ve raised nearly $200,000.

"Because so many people care about Bub, it's really easy for me to attach a positive message—and people will listen," said Bridavsky. Bridavsky stays honest with Bub’s followers by not promoting brands he doesn’t use. However, he will for brands he does, and it’s estimated that this pint-sized cat makes around $7,000 for just one sponsored post.

 

lil bub, cat, celebrity

 

Similar to Tuna and Lil Bub, companies also need to pay special attention to their own associations. Both pet owners each endorse companies or brands that they actually use and causes that they believe in. What you stand for and what (or who) you represent will speak volumes. While these pets associate themselves with other brands, even associations with certain ideas can and will impact your business. By being selective with your brand associations, you give even more value to the associations you do choose to make.

As mentioned, Dasher won’t accept just any kind of partnership on Tuna’s behalf; they have to be the right kind of fit for both Tuna and the Tuna brand. In the past, she has promoted pet-friendly hotels that they’ve stayed at as well as the monthly dog product delivery service, BarkBox, which Dasher and Tuna themselves subscribed to.

This kind of truthful promotion means that their fans trust them and what they say in relation not only to themselves but to the products and services they use. That trust is valuable not only to the Tuna brand but to those who they choose to align themselves with; it’s part of what makes the partnership so attractive.

If people expect the shaggy socialites they follow online to be honest with them, you’d better believe they expect the same from the companies who want their business. Associate your business carefully and truthfully and you’ll be rewarded for it.

 

2) Engagement

Consider Marnie, a loveable senior dog with a tilted head and lolling tongue. Marnie’s owner Shirley Braha credits the success of Marnie and her Instagram account to listening to Marnie’s audience. By paying attention to what people liked, Braha was able to tailor her content accordingly. Turns out, fans loved purposefully misspelled words recounting simple observations and silly jokes. And it works very well for Marnie.

 

marnie, senior dog, celebrity, pet

 

Tuna also interacts with fans. Dasher often hosts meet and greets at pet stores and has attracted large crowds during their book tours. Dasher will also repost her favorite artistic renditions of Tuna by fans on what she calls #TunaInterpretations for #TunaArtTuesdays. These have included paintings, stamps, sculptures, pumpkin carvings, and even tattoos, all replicating Tuna’s signature look. These weekly posts encourage a sense of community and inclusion in Tuna’s world.

 

tuna, art, celebrity, dog

 

Brands that engage with their customers are rewarded for their efforts. There are tons of examples of this, such as Wendy’s tongue-in-cheek tweets that have delighted the Twitter-verse. People notice when brands interact with their customers (and they especially notice when engagement is done unsuccessfully so watch yourself!).

 

3) Personalization

Each of these pets has a distinctive personality and style to their posts. Doug the Pug represents humanity’s innermost thoughts. His posts cover a range of content, from meetings with celebrities to hilariously edited videos to just plain relatable complaints. Doug is more than someone’s pet dog, he’s a celebrity and a brand, with a clear voice that fans have come to expect. It was this unique voice that contributed to his success.

 

doug, pug, dog, celebrity

 

No one wants to feel like they’re dealing with a cold corporation. The humanization of any brand can be the key to its success. And this can be done in a number of ways, from social media to work environment. And don’t think that this means sacrificing your professionalism.

Brands that can find a way to make themselves stand out tend to be successful. Take insurance companies Geico and Allstate - while insurance might sound, well, boring, these companies have incorporated fun into their brands (I can’t believe I used the words ‘insurance’ and ‘fun’ in the same sentence).

Fun in this instance comes in the form of a subtly sassy gecko with a Cockney British accent and Mayhem, who has been characterized as everything from a deer in the headlights to a portable grill, wreaking havoc and hilarity in his path. These companies used this spokesman and spokes-gecko to bring personality to a usually dreaded topic.

Another example, closer to home, and far more achievable for smaller agencies, is Perfect Search Media itself. Little things like our pictures (which turn into too cute baby pictures when you hover over them) under the team page give us a touch of fun and show our clients who they’re working with. You can get the job done and have a good time doing it, something that both customers and the people they’re working with (AKA, you) want.

--

Associate your brand carefully and truthfully, engage with your customers, and personalize your company. If you’re a new company, I hope these tips help you on your way. If you’re an old company, this can still be of use - I’ve heard that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

This article is all about what you should do for successful digital marketing - for a look at what not to do, check out 5 Common Social Media Mistakes.
Junior Copywriter
Eleanor Alexander is from an 800-person town in Michigan, but she dreams of living in Scotland. Her Real Housewives tagline would be: “You can get a lot done when you don’t care who gets the credit.”
"Perfect Search ramps up quickly and instantly provides valuable expertise that enables our startups to efficiently drive traffic and acquire users."
Millie Tadewaldt

Tweets

Perfect Search Media
12h

When your Twitter gets a bunch of new followers - then you discover they’re mostly bots. What gives, Twitter?

Perfect Search Media
16h

Get consistent responses to your emails - no, really. Learn how to stop the plague of unanswered emails.

Perfect Search Media
2d

Even though its name is Brandless, the new startup has a strong brand identity. Ironic or purposeful?

Perfect Search Media
3d

Google+ is so 2010. Posts on are the latest thing (and they're perfect for local )!

Perfect Search Media
3d

Google+ is so 2010. Posts on Google are the latest thing. Is your business testing them yet?

Perfect Search Media
3d

Is a new social network? Sort of. It brings you personalized news--and you don't friend anyone.

Perfect Search Media
3d

RT : Google Search Analytics report now breaks down job listings & details results by

Perfect Search Media
4d

While the industry *is* constantly changing, there are a few things that never change. Props, !

Perfect Search Media
4d

We loved exploring Chicago last week for our team scavenger hunt! A big thanks to Rachel & Laura for planning it. S…

Perfect Search Media
5d

Don't forget about responsive display ads. They're the unsung heroes of . Here's how to launch them.

Perfect Search Media
5d

Drumroll, please. Our Director of & Justin was featured in this blog post! Check it out.

Perfect Search Media
5d

RT : Fighting Review Spam: The Complete Guide for the Local Enterprise By

Perfect Search Media
6d

A solid structure is *everything*--even when it comes to link structure. Here's how you can optimize yours for .

Perfect Search Media
6d

Congrats to our employee of the quarter Rachel Lehn! Thank you for being the best Manager of Business Operations &…

Perfect Search Media
1w

RT : SEO Best Practices for Canonical URLs + the Rel=Canonical Tag 🎥 Whiteboard Friday By…

Perfect Search Media
1w

Allocating a marketing budget is an intimidating but necessary task (sort of like cleaning out the garage).

Perfect Search Media
1w

Out of the 43% of voice search purchases by millennials this year, we bet 90% of them were for pizza.

Perfect Search Media
1w

RT : 7 easy ways you can join the internet's massive fight for net neutrality

Perfect Search Media
1w

has been paying for academic papers that mention the business since '09. Questionable or par for the course?

Perfect Search Media
1w

What is this, Christmas in July? The office got new desk chairs and they are Eric and Anna approved.

Perfect Search Media
1w

RT : Here's how your purchase gets to you, from checkout to doorstep

Perfect Search Media
1w

ICYMI: The Big Five (a.k.a Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, and Amazon) own 32.34% of the total US traffic market.

Perfect Search Media
1w

Read this post on & celebrity pets (lookin' at you, ). It's the cat's meow.

Perfect Search Media
1w

RT : Weekend Review: Posts are removed after 7 days, with one exception by

Perfect Search Media
1w

has seriously changed travel plans forever. No more hard-to-fold maps. No more guide books. We're fans.

Perfect Search Media
2w

RT : Rank a Single Brand Site for Broad Search Queries with Comparative Intent 🎥 Whiteboard Friday By

Perfect Search Media
2w

We spend a lot of time talking about SEO for our content - but what about our images? Just as important!

Perfect Search Media
2w

Wishing a happy belated birthday to our Manager of Business Operations Rachel! Hope the made your day…

Perfect Search Media
2w

New customers are hard to come by. If you're having a hard time reaching a new audience, here's some inspiration

Perfect Search Media
2w

The Most Interesting Man In The World goes rogue! Check out his reappearance in advertising here.

Find us on Facebook

When your Twitter gets a bunch of new followers - then you discover they’re mostly bots. What gives, Twitter?