Small Business Marketing Tip: Add Animals to Add Interest

Small Business Marketing Tip: Add Animals to Add Interest

Pictures of Animals in Advertising Increase Customer Engagement

It comes as no surprise that most people love and enjoy animals. Incorporating the natural love of animals into your marketing campaigns can be a short-cut to evoking desirable emotions and behaviors in customers, as well. Sherril M. Stone presented “The Psychology of Using Animals in Advertising” at the 2014 Hawaii University International Conference of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. In her paper, she identified behavioral, emotional, and neurological reasons why brands advertise with animals. Here’s a particularly interesting passage:

“From a behavioral perspective, animals are important visual tools to prompt purchasing of the product/service. Simply stated, animals have a positive allure to them and they grab viewers’ attention. Research has shown that positive images provoke approach-related behaviors in humans (Sutton & Davidson, 1997). Therefore, advertisements using animals in humorous, symbolic, and attention getting manners are viewed as behavioral tactics. Similarily, the animal may be used as a symbol of power, strength, or status. Likewise, the presence of animals in advertisements places the persuasion process in motion and lessens the consumers’ resistance.
“The type of animal included in the advertisement is also important to marketing professionals. Animal mannerisms can reflect the characteristics of the product/service, as well as, imply human personality traits. Marketing professionals use this connection between type of animal and human personality trait to reach specific viewing audiences. For instance, research has shown that men with a cat were considered nicer, more stylish, and more active than if they had a dog. In contrast, the reverse was shown for women (Budge, Spicer, Jones, & St. George, 1996). Thus, pairing the correct animal with the product has implications for the future sales of the product/service. Incongruent animal-human pairs could result in decreased sales of the product/service.”

Associate Your Brand with Animal-Related Holidays or Events

Earlier this year, I linked my client’s Spring Start-Up schedule with Groundhog’s Day, and we enjoyed a very positive response from customers.

Even if your brand isn’t animal-related, get creative and try out an animal-themed marketing campaign. You might just be surprised at how popular your ad becomes.

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