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Who doesn't love corgis? And who doesn't love seeing their audience going up fast? I see your eyes sparkle, keep reading.

It’s not every day that a luxury travel company comes to us with a very different marketing idea, one that puts a corgi puppy front and centre. It all sounds very exciting to get going and start mindlessly posting your cute puppy over social media in hopes that they’ll help you go viral, but let’s pull on the lead, take a few steps back, and bring ourselves to heel.

What P&A Sullivan had in mind is a marketing tactic called ‘anthropomorphic marketing’, which means applying human-like emotions to animals and inanimate objects. Common examples include the nodding bulldog by Churchill Insurance, the Energizer Bunny and the Andrex Puppy. Think of them as a ‘company mascot. We don’t have many examples to use that are present in the Maltese industry except for Xummiemu the cartoon hedgehog fighting for climate action, which uses elements of anthropomorphic marketing, and Fido, which asked dog owners to clean up after their dogs.

Here’s a checklist of characteristics for anthropomorphic marketing tactics:

  • Has to be cute
  • Distinct tone of voice
  • Well planned out strategy
  • Clear objective in mind
  • Consistent

And in saying that, meet Alessandro the Corgi or ‘Lessu’ for short. Lessu is P&A Sullivan’s company mascot that shows the top spots around Malta with the aim to gain an international reach, because everyone around the globe loves corgis, duh.

Similarly to the Andrex Puppies, we didn’t animate Lessu, and we depended on his cuteness to win people over, while doubling down on strategy and his tone of voice behind the scenes.

So how did we organically gain 100 followers every week? Well, being a cute Corgi helps, but we would like to take some credit here and say that strategy helped also. The first thing that really boosted the account was collaborating with other companies; we always made sure to use Instagram and Facebook stories to keep Lessu’s social media accounts active on days in which a post was not scheduled. Here’s an example of Lessu’s promotion of Westin’s Heavenly Dog Beds:

The above post helped in engaging with Westin customers, regardless whether the user landed on the Westin’s social media account first or Lessu’s. The Story Poll also helped in having viewers stop for at least 3 seconds to decide between which bed he should choose. That’s brand awareness for you right there.

As you can see, we are not doing anything extraordinary here, we’re just posting cute photos of a corgi in different spots around Malta. However, what we are doing is something different from the rest, answer this really quick: how many posh corgis do you know of at the top of your head? None? Exactly. I’ll set a disclaimer here and point out that Queen Elizabeth’s corgis don’t count.

Moving on.

The point I’m trying to make here is that the use of good copy and a relatable tone of voice was key to increasing engagement on Lessu’s posts. Let’s take our most recent post at Saracino’s in Attard. We could have just mentioned the location and good food at the place, but we wanted to hook someone in to posting a comment. How do you do that? By provoking an emotion. Pet friendly locations and services are something that people feel should be a thing, or not. Either way, it triggers some users into expressing their opinion on the topic and voila!

On the topic of engagement, replying to comments and engaging with accounts that reach out to you is so important. If someone took a few seconds out of their day to comment something nice on your post, be grateful and thank them. That’s a given. Don’t be a douchebag that only measures comments as a metric. I’m not saying that you should be following back everyone (unless you plan on engaging with their content at a later stage, then by all means go ahead). But just be consistent with your content, put in the effort and numbers will roll in.

Moral of the story here is that sometimes all you need is a good idea and to stick to this idea. Of course right now Lessu is slowly building a following locally, but by laying the correct foundation in this strategy with relevant and identifiable characteristics, Lessu will surely be putting Malta on the map for international visitors that land on his page. So if you see a handsome corgi roaming with a PR team, I recommend you ask to take a selfie with the star himself. Content is king, but Corgi content is paramount.

With a good content strategy fit to your audience’s needs, any company could launch a creative marketing campaign. If you have an idea in mind that you believe could really work, get in touch with us.

Debbie Shaw

Author Debbie Shaw

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