Cuteness Overload: When Marketing Meets Pets

The mainstream trend amongst young people in recent years in China has been to keep pets, with the popular phrase "a dog or a cat is a winner in life" also indicating an inherent desire to own a pet, which has led brands to increasingly integrate pets into their marketing content. According to the 2021 China Pet Consumption Trends White Paper, younger generations born after 1985 are the largest group to own pets, accounting for 60% of the population, with 72% of pet owners with a monthly household income of 15,000 RMB or more. 

Advertising guru David Ogilvy’s "3B principle” states that "beauty, beast, and baby" are the three elements in advertising that work effectively to win the attention and love of consumers. The "baby" element takes advantage of our natural tendency to protect the weak. This psychological mechanism extends also to other small and cute objects that could be assimilated with pets. Thus "cute pets" have become a marketing element designed based on human psychology.

How can brands use this method to win over customers' hearts?

“Petify” Your Brand Image

Starting from positioning, the brand can develop relevant strategic directions around "cute pets" and create an integrated image, including brand logo and/or name. For example, the brand image of the famous snack producer Three Squirrels has specific characteristics, with their customer service communicating with customers in the tone of squirrels, building a more vivid image in customers' minds through a unique communication system.

Appropriate Hunger Marketing 

In the era of digitalization, launching merchandise in the form of limited editions has always been a successful practice, as long as the product is well designed. McDonald's once launched a limited edition cat box given for free with a specific menu which were sold out shortly after launch. Of course, such a strategy must be based on "good products" and "proper marketing".

Set the Right Tone

When a brand adopts the "cute pet marketing" strategy, it should first ensure that the marketing method is consistent with the brand image and product positioning. After all, not all products are suitable to be "petified" and the concept of "cute pets" will not be suitable for all consumer groups. If the positioning of consumers, products and brand is not accurate, and the "cute pet marketing" is wantonly used, it will cause the perception of "what is right is wrong". 

Unlike traditional marketing strategies, this type of marketing method solely depends on the emotional needs of people, in the case of improper use, it will bring negative impact on the image of brands. Therefore, brands should bear in mind that the implementation of "cute pets marketing" should avoid moral wrong doings After all, marketing is only a tool, what matters the most to brand image is the product itself.

The charm of this marketing method lies in the fact that no matter how marketing and media channels evolve, "cute pet marketing" is in line with our human nature and can be an effective marketing strategy when properly used. If you want to launch your pet marketing strategy, please feel free to contact us at

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