Putting Words, Images and Ideas to Work
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.
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.
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:
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?
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See also my comment below – an interesting epilogue…