Media frequently mirrors different aspects of a culture, and right now in the US, dogs are a big part of that. More and more areas are becoming dog friendly, with pet related boutiques and stores popping up everywhere and water dishes set out for thirsty canines in busy shopping centers.
In many cities across the US, you can’t even drive around the town without seeing at least one person taking their four-legged friend for a walk. It’s no surprise that dogs are used frequently in marketing, even when the ad has nothing to do with pet-related products.
Dog lovers make up a significant piece of some of the different target personas nowadays, which is part of the reason that including dogs in advertising aimed at these personas is so effective. The most obvious persona would be “dog lover” or “pet lover,” but this can be tied into other personas as well. If you’re targeting people who love the outdoors or are fitness nuts, a lot of these people who have dogs include them in activities. Even if individuals seeing these ads don’t have a dog, they’re likely to appreciate the “pet-friendliness” of the brand.
Subaru has taken this and run with it. Their popular new commercials featuring a family of golden retrievers and labrador retrievers are funny, cute, and above all, memorable. You can even meet the “family” on their website. They even offer a free app called MapMyDogwalk.
Definitely a smart move, considering that almost 7 out of 10 Subaru owners have a pet. They’re reminding consumers that they understand one aspect of being a dog lover (and not just a dog owner) that people without dogs may not understand.
And that is, to many pet-parents, dogs are people too.