The Power Of Puppies

There is something about small animals that turns me to mush, which explains how I’ve ended up with four pets (though one of them – a golden retriever – can no longer be classed as ‘small,’ she’s a beast.)

It was on a sick day on the sofa that I was first introduced to Guide Dogs, a charity that regularly urges fans of trash reality shows on ITVBe to sponsor a puppy, their adverts accompanied by said puppies frolicking in grass and such like.

Long story short I have a third dog called Farah who I have never met. She is going to change someone’s life someday. Her picture is up on my fridge.

Emotive advertising - sponsor a guide dogs puppy, Farah. Fox Socks Limited.

There’s a reason this advert worked so well on me, aside from the fact I was in a weakened state, and there were tiny animals making eyes at me through a screen. And that is that it was emotive – in a good way. Not only did the ad ask for sponsorship, it did so in a positive, upbeat way, with people giving their stories about how life changing a dog can be, interspersed with clips of the dogs themselves at work, without once making me feel awful for having more than others. The advert gave hope that something could actually be done, that my help would make an enormous difference, and that I’d be helping not one, but two amazing species to achieve their potential – people, and canines.

The ad:

I was sold. And it didn’t stop there.

Once I’d welcomed Farah into my life in the form of magnets and video clips, Guide Dogs continued their work in keeping me interested. Every so often, I will receive a ‘pupdate,’ with a new photo, and some information about what Farah has been up to, which parts of puppy school she excels at, and the name of her favourite toys. Alongside this, I’ll be given a story about someone whose life has been changed by the charity. And, in a display of content marketing at its finest, such messages will often bring a tear to my eye. Because making people happy is just as powerful as learning they are sad.

Guide dogs emotive advertising. Fox Socks Manchester

In case you can’t read this text, the story featured is as follows:

“My name’s Simon and I was in a severe car accident resulting in the loss of my sight and other horrific injuries. As a young lad, I used to help my dad, who was a mechanic. I grew into the profession, but when I lost my sight I stopped being able to do the job I loved and had to move back in with my parents. I felt my independence slipping away.

Then a brilliant and determined lady from Guide Dogs trained me how to use a long cane, and soon I was able to do an hour’s bus journey on my own. Within a year, I had moved out of my parents’ home and met my wife. I started tinkering with cars again and am now rebuilding a classic mini.

One Christmas, I had a call from Guide Dogs to tell me: “We might have a match for you.” From the very first meeting, my guide dog Umber and I have been best friends – he was even my best man at my wedding. Thanks to Umber I can do things like travel to the next county and back on my own. Umber was my Christmas miracle and he’s changed my life completely.”

I’ll admit this letter tipped me over the edge a bit, and I made everyone I know have a read. I mean, the dog was his best man for flip’s sake.

The point to why I am sharing this particular campaign is this: it made me feel something. And as a result, I took action. It’s a simple lesson all marketers learn eventually, but is one that is sometimes forgotten – if you want someone to do something, make them feel something.

The appearance of a puppy doesn’t hurt, either.

 

(If you’re as sold as I was, and now want to sponsor a puppy more than you’ve ever wanted to do anything else ever, you can do so here)