With ‘Best Dog Day Ever,’ The Dodo is building an experiential franchise

After 1,400 people came out to the first “Best Dog Day Ever” event last year, surpassing The Dodo’s attendance expectations for the pop-up, Group Nine Media decided to expand it from the best dog day ever to the best dog month ever. 

Running Oct. 4 to Oct. 27 with 15 days total days of activations, the “Best Dog Day Ever: Halloween Edition” is the largest experiential event to date for The Dodo, and is expected to attract 8,000 to 10,000 pet owners—roughly six times the number of attendees the event saw last year. 

The event, sponsored by Dyson and Target, marks the first time The Dodo is charging for tickets: $35 for a human and a dog, or a $79 family deal. Brian Lee, evp of commerce at Group Nine Media, said that it foresees consumer-based revenue streams and other commerce initiatives as “becoming a meaningful portion of our diversified revenue.”

The Dodo established itself as the top-ranked animal brand across platforms in terms of scale and engagement in August 2019, according to Tubular Labs — which showed that the predominantly video-oriented publisher achieved 679 million views on Facebook and nearly 90 million views on YouTube alone that month

But like most publishing brands, The Dodo is looking to diversify its revenue. Earlier this month, The Dodo struck a licensing deal with Scholastic to publish children’s books. Christa Carone, Group Nine’s president, said at this week’s Digiday Publishing Summit that she could imagine Dodo-branded dog toys and other products.

Lee said that the brand is primarily relying on The Dodo’s social media following — at the time of publication, has 27 million followers on Facebook, 7.3 million on Instagram and 1.7 million on Twitter — to reach potential attendees. However, the marketing team will also use billboard advertising in New York City, as well as promoting the event through in-house content on its sister sites, NowThis and Thrillist. 


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