With Halloween festivities in full swing, a growing trend of dressing up 4-legged friends in Halloween costumes is evident both, online and in real life. Amazon is offering over 4,000 dog costumes with prices ranging from a few bucks up to several hundred dollars. And tumblr is timely showcasing Pugs dressed as things.
Hundreds of costumed canines strolled in Tompkins Square Park in New York City on October 26th for the Halloween Dog Parade, the biggest and most highly competitive costume contest for dogs in NYC. While the parade itself is in it’s 23rd year, it now has not only a facebook page with 1500+ likes, but also an active hashtag #BegginHalloween and a keen sponsor – Purina Beggin’ Strips.
Purina is keeping up with it’s consumer target by being present at the parade, and combining it with a clever marketing mix built around the insight that dog owners are proud and creative parents when it comes to outfitting and showcasing their bellowed pooches for Halloween. Tompkins Square #BegginHalloween Dog Parade is featured on Beggin’s facebook and twitter feed, and is getting coverage from both bloggers, and conventional online media.
Beggin’s facebook and website pages are also running a sweepstakes to upload your dog’s Halloween costume picture for a chance to be featured in their new cover photo under the same #BegginHalloween hashtag, and is doing customer-specific programs around the this theme with large retailers like Meyer.
As far as pet trends go, the adoration – both emotional and financial – is unlikely to go away any time soon. Understanding the emotional connection owners have with their pets offers a lens into why they want to include them in beloved, traditionally- kid activities like Halloween, and spend money to ‘show them off’. It underlines growing ‘pet indulgence’ categories like fresh pet food, doggie spas, hotels and pet health insurance. Taking this thinking a few steps further would spark innovation opportunities in canine fashion, hair color and care products, jewelry and many other visual statements of deep love .
The spooktacular learning for brand builders is to stay in close touch with our consumers to find meaningful opportunities to be a part of their lives and their conversations. We should act timely, creatively and consistently and strive to be rewarded with a treat of a loyal brand – consumer relationship.
image credit: of pugcostumeparty & ed kaz
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Elena Putilina is a global marketing executive with experience growing megabrands like OREO, Tide and The Macallan. Elena’s expertise is in translating customer insight to cutting edge innovation and marketing plans utilizing both, traditional (TV, print, experiential, PR) and new (social, digital, viral) tools. Elena is currently a Vice President, Marketing Capability at Brand Learning, and a Marketing Mentor at ERA startup accelerator. Twitter: @lenaputilina