Furry and Fabulous: Why Brands Shouldn’t Ignore Pet Influencers
White, gorgeous, and impeccably dressed, Sasha and Piper relax on park benches, pose in designer harnesses, sport fashionable bandanas, and strut their stuff on casual dates with friends. The duo have deals with brands such as Dyson, Hush Puppies, Hansgrohe, among others.
Instagram stars in her own right, Sasha recently turned ten, and “mom” Carrie Er threw her a lavish party. Sasha wore a custom-embroidered Burberry bandana, a matching snood and a stylish pearl necklace to complete the look. A custom tiered figurine cake was ordered and all of her best friends were in attendance to celebrate her million dollar attendance.
Sasha and Piper are among Singapore’s most famous four-legged influencers, bringing in dollars, deals and hundreds and thousands of likes for every #toungueouttuesday post.
Pet influencers have been around for over a decade, but during the height of Covid, pets – the industry’s lesser-known sidekicks turned stars – have come to the fore. Some have even achieved iconic status. Take the example of Neville Jacobs, the beloved bull terrier of designer Marc Jacobs, who has been dubbed “the hardest working dog in fashion” by Magazine T. For this dog, it’s not a world of dog-eating dogs, just an incredibly whimsical world. He bears his father’s famous surname, eats burgers from a tray served by a butler wearing a bow tie, is chauffeured around town, lounges by a pool, has a strong fanbase of more of 185,000 followers on Instagram and appears on covers with Kendall Jenner and Hailey Beiber.
Bark the right tree
These days, pet influencers (and their owners) with big social media followers command tens of thousands of dollars to create content for brands.
And it works: Dogs don’t divide opinion or cause controversy (hint: Li YeFeng’s recent solicitation charges). According to Loni Edwards, CEO and founder of The Dog Agency, the platform which represents more than 150 animal influencers, including Dunkin Ducks (2.1 million followers on TikTok, and Toby Toad (193,000 followers on Instagram), adds that animals companies provide stronger brand security.
“A human influencer runs the risk of a scandal, gets drunk at a party, tweets or does something offensive,” she says.
While the dogs are cute, lovable, and crowd favorites. As a bonus, they come with a higher engagement rate.
For example, media listener SpearRJ quotes: “Kim Kardashian’s Instagram has a 1.68% engagement rate. By comparison, famous wolfdog @Loki has an engagement rate of 2.51% and garners over 50,000 likes for each post.
Loki, part husky, malamute, and wolf, has deals with Mercedes Benz, Toyota Grand Prix, and Grounds & Hounds Coffee, among others.
Nisarg Shah, co-founder and CEO of global influencer management platform, affable.ai, points out that pet influencers are like human influencers, just more appealing across demographics. They also elicit more positive reactions and higher engagement.
He says, “Only the top 10 influencers from 10 Asian countries on Instagram give brands a reach of 308 million followers. There’s nothing simpler than cute furry friends to boost engagement. He also adds that furry influencers help build an emotional connection with audiences and can tap into unfamiliar audiences.
Scratch the pet itch
“With Pet Influencers, you get lighthearted content, there’s no pseudo-intellectual talk and advice about love or life; and that kind of pure escapism is why people come to social media,” says Pooja Banerjee of Glocal Communications.
And now, the wide reach of these dogs serves as a prism in the world of high fashion: John Lewis, Britain’s largest department store chain, reports that sales of dog coats have increased by 420% by year-over-year in 2021, with dog-sweater sales up 2,200%.
In mid-December, Chinese pet lifestyle brand Vetreska closed its Series B funding at US$20 million. The startup, founded in 2017, has many “viral” products, including Bubble Luggage, a breathable suitcase-shaped carry bag that looks like a watermelon or peach.
“The Chinese pet industry has grown by 30% per year, which is virtually unprecedented,” said Donald Kng, co-founder of Vetreska. “Coupled with the fact that large foreign direct investments in China are investing in the consumer market as well as gross domestic product growth policies in China, this has made it easier for us to choose to start our business there, not to mention the sheer size of the Chinese population. »
Xiaomi’s investment arm also bet on two pet lifestyle brands – Kittens & Puppies and Furry Tail – in late 2019 as part of their smart home strategy. Market research provider Euromonitor International finds that the global market for non-food pet products, including apparel, is expected to grow from US$28 billion in 2021 to US$32 billion by last quarter of 2023.
No wonder then that brands like Tommy Hilfiger go further than chic collars and matching bows. The brand recently announced its first collection for pets in collaboration with its licensee partner Kanine to parade in 2023. The collection will include a range of clothing, accessories and home products in the iconic red, white and blue stripes of the mark with touches of pink and green. More recently, Hugo Boss also dipped its paws into the pet category by announcing a line of dogs to launch this fall.
In June, Celine succumbed to the craze and recruited Elvis, creative director Hedi Slimane’s labradoodle, to lead a campaign for her next series of pet accessories. The LVMH-owned fashion house has followed in the footsteps of Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Versace and Moschino, offering an ultra-luxury collection of pet accessories “rooted in Celine’s rich expertise in leather goods”.
enjoy the glory
Some furry dogs earn more than a white collar frame in a month. According to affable.ai, these influencers can typically earn between US$1,000 and US$6,000 per post, but the big bucks come down to the number of followers. “For every thousand followers, pet influencers can command around $15 per post. The staggering annual earnings are linked to followers. With engagement rates of up to 10% to 40% per post, brands can reach new audiences in creative ways,” says Shah.
For your viewing pleasure, here is a list of the top canine influencers in Asia, according to affable.ai. Scroll for science-backed stress relief.
Singapore’s Best Dogs
About: A Pembroke Welsh corgi from Singapore.
Followers: 66 125
Average engagement rate: 5.5%
Honey muffin can
About: Muffin is a Shih Tzu boy while Honey is a Shih Tzu girl.
Average engagement rate: 1.40%
About: A white Labrador from Singapore who recently moved to Melbourne. The account has occasional posts from big brothers Milo, Rascal and Princess
Followers: 30 273
Average engagement rate: 0.7%
Rosie the poetry
About: A recused black fluffy bastard living his best life in Singapore! Rosie gets a lot of press attention and has been featured in Mothership Singapore and Yahoo.
Average engagement rate: 5%
The best dogs in South Korea
About: These cute poodles recently welcomed a new human into the pack. The red Toy Poodle and the white Toy Poodle which have a wild following on TikTok and Instagram.
Followers: 260,000 on Instagram / 13325454 on TikTok
Average engagement rate: 18.5%
About: “Public Figures” Griffin and Haru have a total of 5 million fans on social media. Their “mom” describes them as the “cutest French potatoes”.
Followers: 432,370 on Instagram
Average engagement rate: 2%
About: Odong, Lotto, and Haru are heavily into food, fashion, eye care products, and sparkly tutus and bows. When they’re not busy traveling, thinking about pet cakes or serving up looks, the trio take the time to collect donations for the rescue pups.
Followers: 350,000 on Instagram
Average engagement rate: 0.3%
The best dogs in the Philippines
About: Adorable plush brothers Chowder, Tofu, and Baewolf are lovable pooches from the Philippines who are winning the internet with their bear cuteness.
Followers: 371770 on Instagram
Average engagement rate: 2.4%
About: Gom and Dami’s chronicles with their human brother Woolee have built a solid portfolio of over 98,000 followers on Instagram alone.
Followers: 98,905 on Instagram
Average engagement rate: 2.4%
About: Chronicles of the adventures of Tammy, Cream O, Sugar, Mochi, Henri and Reese, are a canine club in their own right. Hosting dog shows, running a popular dog lifestyle YouTube channel, selling merchandise – it’s a busy life for them.
Followers: 98,905 on Instagram
Average engagement rate: 2.4%
The best dogs in Indonesia
About: Happy puppy Baekkyon lives a relatively simple life with his human siblings. The story is a diary of their little pleasures: walks on the beach, trips to the park and grooming sessions.
Followers: 356,130 on Instagram
Average engagement rate: 18.1%
About: Sir Eggsy Barksley is an Alaskan Malamute in Jakarta
Followers: 153,000 on Instagram
Average engagement rate: N / A
About: Loulou died at the end of August. Fans of his mom Marie-Eve Morabito and around the world cherish his paw memories on the account.
Followers: 120500 on Instagram
Average engagement rate: 7.4%