Have you ever noticed how many puppies are used in advertising?
Maybe you've noticed before, or perhaps after reading this you'll start seeing more of them but it is undeniable that the puppy has become a huge part of numerous advertising and fundraising campaigns. In fact, during the 2014 Super Bowl, the top rated commercial was based around puppies. Puppies are now being used to sell everything from Brawny paper towels to beer like Molson or Budweiser to Chevy trucks. Furthermore, when trying to come up with fundraising ideas or working on email design, nonprofits often look to incorporate puppies. But why? What makes the puppy so important in creating a successful advertising or nonprofit fundraising campaign?
How puppies increase conversion rates
The reason puppies are regularly used is that including a puppy in almost any ad is proven to increase conversion rates. Its as simple as that. There is something innately comforting about a puppy which increases a persons desire to buy the product being sold. The statistics show that including a puppy can boost conversion rates by up to 30% and that viewers will choose an image of a person with a puppy over an image of a person with almost any other object.
There is a large body of work on the psychology of why we find certain animals or babies cute. This behavior is a piece of our evolution that elicits a caregiver response for a helpless baby but according to Stephen Hamann of Emory University, humans are not good at distinguishing between helpless humans and other animals. As a result, we have a particular comforting response to puppies, particularly ones deemed cuter than average, like those selected for an advertising or fundraising campaign. This comfort seems to extend to the product, services of campaign being offered, increasing the likelihood we donate, purchase or particpate.
Should I include puppies in my fundraising campaigns or email design?
If your in the process of setting up a campaign, the answer is probably. Although there are scenarios where puppies can hurt your conversion rates, for example people don't like parodies of puppies and placing a puppy where it doesn't make sense can hurt your conversion rates, most campaigns do benefit from a well placed puppy image that goes along with the overall message. Next time your starting a campaign just remember, a well placed puppy could mean the difference between a mediocre and a great campaign.
Want to learn more?
See how other brands incorporated puppies in their advertising!
Check out this Strength in Members blog post on successful charity campaigns!