The old advertising trope of “sex sells” has been supplemented on the Web by “cuddly content.” Yes, brands have used animals in their commercials and print ads for decades, but beyond the rote use of these creatures to sell something, brands have adopted the Internet-meme culture to create content on publisher sites and platforms. There’s just something about animals that makes the Internet go bonkers.
Not surprisingly, the publisher with the most animal-focused branded content is BuzzFeed (which is not to be confused with its Animals vertical). But they’re not the only ones.
Brand: Home Depot
Content: Richard The Cat
Home Depot and cats? Yeah, I don’t quite get it either. I guess points to them for having an orange cat to go along with its orange logo, but, not really sure how a cat meme serves Home Depot. Unless they’re trying to target the cat lover who may be into fixing up their home. I just don’t see the connection to forced cat memes for this brand.
Content: Dancing Kitten
The insurance company has a campaign called “Delightful” to highlight its brand message of delightful service. On the surface, it makes sense to have animals — because what kind of cold-hearted person doesn’t find cuddly animals delightful? The first video on its YouTube channel matches up the “delightful service” brand message with that of a dancing kitten. There are 10 videos of adorable animals — dolphins, dogs and even the alpaca. Doubling down on this campaign, the company also has sponsored posts on, where else, BuzzFeed. Delightful, indeed.
Brand: Campbell’s Soup
Content: 15 Animals Who Are Behaving Like People
In order to understand the connection between the photos and the brand, you have to scroll down past all the images and read the text: “Inspired by Campbell’s Go™ soups! They’re so close to the real thing, you won’t believe it!” Perhaps this photo set would be better served if that was at the top instead of buried beneath the cuteness.
Brand: National Geographic
Content: Animals That Would Definitely Survive The Apocalypse
NatGeo aired a television show called “Doomsday Preppers” about people who are, as the title suggests, preparing for doomsday. This campaign to promote the show fits right in with the program, as well as BuzzFeed’s obsession for all things animals, selecting animals they believe will survive the apocalypse. Though interestingly, the indestructible cockroach did not make the list.
Image via Josh Sternberg
Why one agency is drawing inspiration from Jesus and avocados for Super Bowl marketing
Lerma's founder and CEO talks about the relevance of a multicultural marketing approach, the growing influence of Hispanic culture and more.
Google-Meta duopoly continues to creak in their ‘heightened maturity’ as Amazon, Apple ascend
The shadow both Apple and Amazon have cast over advertising dollars is getting longer by the quarter.
Why advertisers are still making space for experimental budgets even with economic uncertainty
Even in the midst of economic uncertainty, advertisers are bullish on experimental ad spend.
SponsoredWhy Best Buy Ads sees retail media as integral to its customer-centric purpose
Sponsored by Best Buy Ads Retail media networks have become critical for marketers, with retailers investing in ways that enable advertisers to engage consumers across online and offline channels. Given the wealth of retailers’ first-party customer data and measurement capabilities, retail media networks have become a natural fit for augmenting performance marketing programs. Alongside the […]
Marketers move beyond the basics of ChatGPT with new tools
Companies are setting their sights past OpenAI's free version and integrating their own data sets for new ads, bots and idea generators.
How the recession could impact brands’ metaverse spending
Digiday reached out to four experts to figure out how brands’ spending in the metaverse might change as they tighten the purse straps in preparation for a recession. Here are some of the biggest takeaways.