Doug the Pug: Marketing Lessons From The World’s Most Bankable Dog
Selena Gomez might have the most Instagram followers and Katy Perry the biggest Twitter army, but when it comes to loveable and bankable online personalities there’s only one winner.
I’m talking, of course, about a true superstar – Doug the Pug.
If you somehow haven’t heard of him, prepare yourself for the oncoming pangs of falling in love when you Google his name. He’s the canine king of Facebook – an adorable, chunky little pug from Nashville with a social media reach of over five million people.
Year of the pug
It started off simple; a short video of Doug merrily hopping through the park to ‘Best Friend’ by Harry Nilsson, a pug balloon tied to his waist. It was an innocent, sweet and endearing clip watched over 20 million times in the space of a few days.
Oh, how he’s grown.
Rubbing shoulders with celebrities, featuring on hip blogs, appearing in music videos, and fronting a range of merchandise spanning from wall calendars to novelty glasses – the spin-offs from Doug’s household name are lucrative, to say the least.
His success is now so complete that owner Leslie Mosier could afford to give up her job early last year and run his account full-time.
Every pug should have his day
As a lifelong lover of pugs and proud owner of the world’s cutest pug (at least according to my mum), until I heard about Leslie and Doug I never realised that my obsession could actually make me money. When I recently spotted my pug Arthur on Netflix my excitement reached critical level. This was it, his big break.
I should probably explain.
Arthur was a very poorly puppy, and on top of losing his eye also suffered liver failure. Don’t worry, he’s back in tiptop shape now. You can find him on Netflix making a guest appearance on Small Animal Hospital, a programme about the vets that nursed him back to health.
Old dogs and new tricks
After his TV debut, it was clear to me that he had all the makings of a star; a sob story, a distinctive look, and one foot already in the door. Hollywood was calling, so we set him up on Instagram and waited for the reality TV show offers to come rolling in.
We’re still waiting, and it’s left me very frustrated. Besides two working eyes, what does Doug have that Arthur doesn’t? A closer look at Doug’s winsome qualities reveals basic marketing rules every successful brand follows. In theory, they should be easy to emulate.
Let’s break it down.
• A snappy name: short and catchy, Doug the Pug is a name made for hashtags and viral videos.
• Celebrity friends: associating with the right people will get any brand worldwide recognition, as Doug knows better than most, hanging out with the likes of Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. He’s a PR dream.
• A strong voice: Doug has the cheeky observational skills of a world class comedian. It makes him instantly recognisable and loveable.
• Relatable content: lounging in hoodies, binge-watching Netflix and gorging on junk food, Doug is all of us on our worst but favourite days.
So there we have it, simple tactics executed with flair and personality.
Where Arthur and I ran aground is not publishing smart and current posts on a regular basis, but we’re not the only ones struggling to keep our social media presence afloat. Lots of small businesses find it difficult to keep up with the demand for witty and fun content.
We’ve not only got celebrity pug contacts, but years of experience in managing stellar content plans. So if digital marketing is becoming a troubling area of your business, get in touch to find out how we could help.