Following a recent trip to the cinema, I was surprised at how many brands are using animals as a mechanic to sell their product. Products, I should highlight, that would definitely be of no interest to an animal (since when did a dog need a bank account?).
Historically the belief has been that ‘sex sells’ when it comes to shifting products: in 1983 a snapshot report looking at full page magazine adverts found 15% of ads used sex as their primary selling point, this then rose dramatically to 27% in 2003.
So why now are brands aligning themselves with, otherwise unrelated, animals? From a behavioural perspective, most humans are naturally attracted to animals, they have a positive allure and they grab attention. And while only 40% of Britons actually own a pet, the growth of ‘social petworking’ has made it almost impossible for non-pet owners to avoid being exposed to pet related content (despite their best attempts). 10% of pets have their own social profile and #MyPet has seen over 1.5M uses globally on Instagram. Thus tweeting the way for animals to have almost universal appeal when it comes to promoting products or services.
Given the current issues around women’s rights (stoked nicely by the comments made by Donald Trump) and the ongoing debate about unrealistic images of models and the body-morph issues they generate, I wonder if 2017 and beyond will start to see the balance shift further from sex to animals selling? Let’s hope so, in the meantime here are some pictures of my dog, come on admit it you’d buy what he was selling wouldn’t you?