Why are dogs so popular in marketing?

Why are dogs so popular in marketing?

Why are dogs so popular in marketing?

Tilly under a Simpsons skyHave you ever noticed just how many dogs are featured in marketing? Well, we have a Westie who lets us know by barking and taking a running leap at the tv every time one appears. No, really. She (Tilly) can spot a dog at twenty paces on a tv screen, often before we’ve even seen it, and either she wants to play or feels they are entering her territory. She's also got a thing for Scandi Noir box sets at the moment...

This has led us to realise that there are an awful lots of dogs used in the advertising slots, especially when you take into account repeats. And that’s as well as dogs in tv shows and films. Try it, count them when you're next watching tv.

Of course animals have been used in marketing since, well, marketing began. Wolves, sheep, cats, ponies, meerkats, horses, chimpanzees, orangutans, kangaroos, emus and the list goes on. Yet, there seems to be no animal more popular in the marketing world than dogs. Man’s best friend is featured regularly and is an incredibly useful tool when it comes to advertising a product or a service.

One marketing goal should be to create something that we relate to, something that appeals to our emotions and something that is memorable. And what’s more relatable, emotional and memorable than a dog?

As a nation of pet lovers there are a huge number of us that love dogs. It is estimated (by PDSA) that:

50% of UK adults own a pet.
34% of the UK adult population have a dog with an estimated population of 13 million pet dogs*.
(*Source: https://worldanimalfoundation.org/advocate/pet-ownership-statistics/)

That’s a lot of dogs.


The ‘aaahhhhh’ factor

Different breeds of dogs can be associated with particular brands and etched onto our memories providing long running brand associations.


Think paint and what dog comes to mind? The Dulux Dog. In fact it’s known as a Dulux Dog more than its actual breed name Old English Sheep Dog. That's a great example of branding working at its best, when the brand name becomes part of the English language.


Think toilet paper and what dog comes to mind? Cute, adorable Labrador puppies trailing Andrex toilet paper down the stairs, along the hallway and across the lounge. And that’s been going on for over 75 years! (the advertising not the loo roll!)


More recently a white labradoodle has made a multi-surface floor cleaning product both funny and memorable. Flash Dog regularly entertains us with a sing along advert that demonstrates the product’s cleaning power along with a reworded version of the iconic Flash superhero theme tune.


Don’t look into their eyes...

It can be a good idea in marketing to relate a product or service to something that your audiences love, something that will get their attention, and dogs certainly appeal to a lot of people.

Dogs have a knack of appealing to our emotions, they’re adorable, loyal and they make good companions. When you add these attributes to the ability to create something memorable it really can be an excellent marketing strategy.


If you’d like some help with appealing to your customers for your business or organisation, or you'd just like to tell us about your dog, then we'd love to hear from you.

Woof, woof!