Note From Beth: The cartoon above is from my book, “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” and was alluding to what I call the “Cute Animal Theory” that content performs better when you have a cute animal, a dog, a cat, or even a squirrel. The genre of cat videos has grown so much that the Walker Art Center initiated the Internet Cat Video Festival, curated by a “cat video curator.” This summer, it sparked news headlines worldwide, attracted a crowd of 10,000 people—some in costumes, others with feline companions, all cat lovers.
Some people make cat videos for fun or profit, but nonprofits, especially animal welfare organizations that focus on felines have a unique opportunity to leverage this genre for their cause. So, I asked by Madeleine Hammond, who wrote a guest post about 7 Nonprofit Videos on Vine and Instagram, to take a look at a few stellar nonprofit examples.
5 Examples of Non-Profits Using Cats….And a Dog guest post by Madeleine Hammond
If there’s one thing the internet loves unconditionally, it’s cats. Cats looking sweet, doing funny things or, well, just being cats, have proved irrefutable online hits on the web and savvy marketers are all too aware of this. The cute-factor is a powerful one, and nonprofits can really benefit from harnessing their power to drum up some support. Here’s just 4 of the best examples who have done just that…
1. Pets Add Life – Talking Cat Consultants
Never be afraid to be a bit silly. US Campaigners Pets Add Life weren’t with their series of videos and their channel has clocked up over 5 million views to date. The nonprofit is designed to demonstrate the joys and benefits of pet ownership, thus driving increased adoption of pets and responsible ownership of pets. In this hilarious video, we are introduced to two talking cat consultants who want to spread the message that all pets need a friend to talk to.
2. Refurb the Cat
A while back, a picture of cuddly cat Refurb made it to the front page of viral entertainment website Reddit – a fate which is not easily achieved. The cat become such a hit, that one particularly eager fan asked for his ‘pawtograph’. Refurb & her owner obliged – so long as the recipient donated $10 to an animal protection charity. Surprisingly, they did just that and even more remarkably, this sparked another load of fans willing to donate for a Refurb original. Before you could even say Meow, the pair had raised nearly $1000 for animal charities.
3. Cats Protection – Video Guide to Moggy Behaviour
It’s no secret that cats are notoriously hard to read. UK charity Cats Protection made this video to debunk some of the myths surround feline behaviour and to give some much needed insight into our moggy companions. This is a great example of reaching out with some interesting information and familiarising your charity with a relevant audience.
4. The Wildcat Sanctuary – A Natural Safe Haven for over 100 Big Cats
Sometimes it’s enough to let the footage speak for itself. That’s exactly the approach The Wildcat Sanctuary took in this video. The animal charity filmed the cats at the enclosure, which promotes a natural, safe haven for animals -combining natural and spacious habitats with a life free of exhibition and exploitation. This video is a great way of showing how you can let some simple and stunning shots sell the message of your nonprofit effectively.
5. SPCA – Dogs Can Drive
Ok so this one doesn’t use cats, but it’s a great example of animal charities being creative. New Zealand charity the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) chose to try and show the intelligence & creativity of animals their video to help encourage people to re-home abandoned animals. To do this, they – naturally – taught three dogs how to drive. The results were spectacular and have garnered over 10 million views, raising awareness for the SPCA across the world.
Author: Madeleine Hammond is marketing executive at Skeleton Productions, a UK based video production agency.
Have you seen a fantastic example of a nonprofit using cute animals as part of their content? Please share in the comments below.