Cats and dogs: the undefeated champions of viral advertisements

Ads including cats and dogs boost views for brands, while simultaneously increasing social media engagement.

A grey and white kitten.

Adverts including cats and dogs have been found to boost views for brands by millions, while simultaneously increasing Google searches and social media engagement.

This is according to social media analytics firm, NewsWhip, which has researched how featuring pets in adverts and social media posts can boost engagement and business.

It turned out that pets were good for more than snuggles and funny internet videos, as using a pet in a brand post on social media contributed to an 89% increase in comments and 19% increase in likes.

Similarly, it was found that views increased by 1,642% on ads featuring cats and dogs. Meanwhile, Nichefire found that using a pet in a social media post improved overall engagement by 63%.

Brands using specifically cats experienced an increase in views by 2,700% when compared to the average number of views on their YouTube channel.

Likewise, 34% of Instagram accounts used cats to boost their overall engagement and experienced an increase in Instagram searches by 123 million. Meanwhile, Google searches for funny cat content went up by 37%.

Brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Netflix and Pizza Hut have used cats to boost engagement. 32% of the commercials featuring cats were made by British brands such as Sainsbury’s and O2. 20% of the ads were German.

Contrarily, using dogs increased views by one million. On YouTube alone, dog ads averaged two millions views, as opposed to other types of ads, which averaged below half a million. ¨

Dogs had a 37% higher search volume than cats, yet YouTube channels experienced a smaller view increase of 540%.

It was found that 62% of randomly selected brands used dogs to boost their engagement. Of these brands, 43% were based in the United States, while 14% were based in France.

Overall, it seemed that cats are better at boosting ad engagement, while dogs make for a more eye-catching social media feed. Organic, non-brand-related posts experienced a growth of approximately 337% in likes and 227% in comments when featuring pets.

More than 500 commercials and 400 Instagram posts were analysed to gather the data. The posts studied were advertising products unrelated to cats and dogs, yet still featured them.

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