Marketing Communications Ink

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Blueberry Facial for Dogs – For the Annals of Great Marketing Gimmicks

Blueberry facial for dogs

A Pet Grooming Package complete with Fruit Flavored Facial.

This morning I received a LivingSocial Deals e-alert with an offer that blew me away.

A pet pampering, doggy grooming day, complete with blueberry facial. And yes, the blueberry facial was for the dog. I checked. Offered at 3 different price points, dependent on the size of your dog. Really?

Seems to me, the Pet Grooming Package with Fruit Facial is for fruits. Nut cases. Come on. Does a dog really want to smell like blueberries? Doesn’t the odor attract bugs? (Not withstanding the fact that dogs are carnivores – meat eaters, by nature.)

Forget the 50% off offer. The true marketing gimmick is that this blueberry facial spa treatment is really designed to appeal to all the pet mommies and daddies, not the dogs, making it another example of brilliant marketing aimed at not-so-brilliant people.

Meat-Flavored Bottled Water

Offering blueberry facials for dogs is akin to another great marketing concept. Meat-flavored, bottled water for dogs. Again, selling a product that the dog probably couldn’t care less about, but that appeals to their pet-loving humans.

I kind of thought the company that developed that “doggie treat” had gone out of business, as I hadn’t heard about their product in a while. But, a quick fact check reveals that there are several companies now offering this type of product. K9 Water Co., Inc. says they’re “Proud to offer you Toilet Water, Puddle Water, Hose Water and Gutter Water, the world’s first flavored, vitamin fortified bottled water specifically formulated to provide your dog with essential vitamins that contribute to overall good health and provide the hydration your dog needs.” Very thoughtful of them to them to offer four flavors, chicken, beef, liver and lamb, that they claim, “your dog will rave about.” Again… really?

As an aside, meat flavored bottled water is not just a commodity for pets. I came across a 2011 article in Aol.com which identified a company, Meatwater, which markets all kinds of flavored bottled water products for humans, among them water that tastes like a poached salmon salad, or Hungarian goulash, a liverwurst sandwich, or bangers and mash. Not fancy enough for you foodies? Then try their water that’s flavored like escargot. You can read all about that on the Meatwater website: dinnerinabottle.com/look-good-feel-good-do-good.

More Crazy Pet Products and Marketing Gimmicks

Turns out, there are any number of brilliant marketing gimmicks to sell ridiculously inappropriate items to pet owners for their beloved pets. Think dog wedding services. Or Halloween outfits and party clothes for animals.

A quick web search located several articles on the topic of stupid pet gifts. Huffington Post ran an article titled, “The Stupidest Pet Products Ever Invented (PHOTOS)” which included such crazy pet gifts as Bowser Beer for dogs, and a “Hot Doll” sex toy, believe it or not.

Even funnier was the Daily Revelry website April 6, 2010 posting titled, “The 15 Most Ridiculous Things People Buy for their Pets,” which uncovered:

  • Unisex Pet Perfume. (It cracks me up that they market it as “unisex,” as if they have to tell us that boy and girl dogs make no distinction between the brand of perfume they wear.)
  • Pet wigs (which apparently sprang from a tongue-in-check book titled, “Glamourpuss, the Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs” available on Amazon.com), and
  • An Internet website for dogs, (no – not about dogs, for dogs).

And regarding those doggie blueberry facials, as of this writing, six have already sold! Perhaps this LivingSocial Pet Grooming Deal is brilliant. Not for targeting pet-loving owners who will go to any length to make their pets happy, but because it so off-the-wall, that people are probably talking about it. Word-of-mouth. Who knew?

Like this article? Share it: http://wp.me/p2EWMT-H4

See also my comment below – an interesting epilogue…

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3 comments on “Blueberry Facial for Dogs – For the Annals of Great Marketing Gimmicks

  1. C.Maria
    November 3, 2013

    Blueberry facials for dogs is NOT a gimmick. The product really works and my dog is living proof. The tear stains are gone.

    • Suzy Kedzierski
      November 3, 2013

      Hi! Thanks so much for letting me know. BTW, did you know that red tear stains can sometimes be caused by the food? My mom’s dog had red stained fur around her eyes, too. Over the years, my mom tried a few different brands of dog food, and one day she switched brands… and lo and behold… no more red stains! Perhaps a different brand of dog food will help your dog too? Thanks so much for writing in.

  2. suzykedz
    March 18, 2013

    March 18, 2013, Update: I just read that Purina Friskies has introduced a game app for cats! The game works on tablets, and lets kitties swat at virtual birds, moths and dragonflies fluttering across the screen. The article points out that the game is meant “as an engagement tool between cat owners and their pets.” That explains the game-ending message, “You’ve Won! Play Again.” After all, cats can’t read. What do you think…? Have we taken mobile innovation too far? See the complete article on the Mobile Marketer site: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/14973.html

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