Pet influencers: the lives of pets who are stars of Instagram and TikTok | Internet

Pet influencers: the lives of the animals that are Instagram and TikTok stars (Image: Vitor Pádua/Tecnoblog)

One day it would be possible to imagine that more than 6 million people would they be followers of a non-Disney talking dog? Or maybe that the act of adopting an animal could completely change someone’s professional life?

This is the reality with pet influencers, who are successful on the internet, create businesses and generate engagement in stories of partnership with their humans — on the web and beyond.

In the beginning it was all bush (and memes)

Pets have been present in media vehicles for a long time, whether to amuse or thrill humans. In most cases, these movie and TV animals were trained by large companies to “act” in media products. Due to the popularization of technology and the growth of social networks, common people started to create profiles of their pets to post photos and adventures.

This phenomenon made some animals start to gain prominence in the networks. One of the first and most emblematic cases of great success involving pet influencers is related to Tardar Sauce, which you may know as The Grumpy Cat, or “The Grumpy Cat”. Probably, if you lived on the internet from 2012 onwards, at some point you must have come across some meme of this feline.

The kitten became a phenomenon in networks when Bryan Bundesen posted a photo of his sister’s cat, Tabatha Bundesen, on the Reddit forum on September 22, 2012. Due to her invoked face, the result of a kind of feline dwarfism, the cat ended up in several forums, communities and was always related to several memes that involved bad mood, irony and sarcasm.

The Grumpy Cat became an internet phenomenon, generating several products and campaigns. The cat gave interviews on Forbes, crossed over with other famous felines like Garfield and even had her own Christmas Special in 2014. A considerable achievement considering that, in 2012, the internet was still very much driven by forums that had less reach and a more restricted audience than social networks.

At that time, the production and sharing of content for the common user still worked slower, after all the simplest cell phones did not have the same high quality video recording features and the internet did not allow the sending and sharing of content in such a way fast.

The Grumpy Cat he died in 2019 and his death was the subject of several news worldwide at the time. However, its page on social networks is still active, managed by its tutors, with more than 2 million followers. Tardar Sauce proved to be a successful pet influencer, being very important in the cat’s goal of world domination.

Gudan the Husky: absolute success in a TikTok

Almost a decade after the emergence of The Grumpy Cat, the popularization of technology allowed many people to produce content at home and could tell stories and narratives of their pets through social networks.

One of the phenomena that show that the combination of pets, technology and social networks can change people’s lives is Gudan the Husky, a canine with a quirky sense of humor who makes a number of curious remarks about his daily adventures while putting nicknames on humans.

Gudan has a record of 6 million followers on TikTok and over 1 million followers on Instagram, among other networks.

Gudan o Husky ( Image: Playback/ Instagram)

The profile was created by the couple from Paraná Zanq and Isabelle in June 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In an interview with Techblog, the couple said that both had many plans and professional goals for 2020, but no one had a health crisis that changed the world.

Zanq and Isa (Image: personal collection)

Zanq, actually his name is Eduardo (although he is called Carlos by Gudan), he is 23 years old, is a singer and had achieved some prominence with his songs on digital platforms. He would even open a show for the rapper Projota in Paraná in early 2020, when his plans were changed, when the venues were closed as a result of measures to combat the pandemic.

Isabelle Miranda is 26 years old, is a professional advertising and makeup artist and went through a similar situation. It had its schedule of events for 2020 complete, but with the pandemic cancellations were constant. “There were weeks where I received calls daily to cancel jobs,” she told the Techblog.

With both “unemployed”, the couple decided to dive into social networks and participate in different types of challenges on the networks. It was then that they were suggested by friends to venture into a new application that was still little known to the general public in Brazil at that time, a TikTok.

The couple had no experience using the app’s features and the content creation model for the platform, so they decided to create a profile for their dog and test the network to understand how it worked. The canine’s profile went viral in a few weeks and they didn’t leave the networks anymore.

The Yellow Biker Dog

Another story of partnership and life change is that of Gabriel Pego and Yellow, the cyclist dog.

It all started in 2017, on the banks of the Guarapiranga Dam, when Gabriel went riding a bicycle with friends and ended up finding a little yellow dog in a crate. Everyone befriended the puppy, but at the end of the day, no one could be with her, including Gabriel who had never had a pet before.

At night, on his way home, Gabriel said he felt a tightness in his chest, went back to the dam, and brought the little dog inside his coat as he pedaled. Initially the idea was to be a temporary home, but Yellow conquered everyone and the temporary home became permanent.

Gabriel and Yellow (Image: Yellow the cyclist/ Instagram)

Gabriel noticed that Yellow was very calm on the bike and started to ride with her after three months. Initially, the tours were short, like going to Ibirapuera Park, but over time the distances increased. Gabriel said that he would like to produce internet content about extreme sports and saw that there was no content on cycling dogs, so the opportunity appeared.

The problem of copying and appropriating foreign content

The process for a content creator to break through the networks doesn’t always have a formula or defined platform. In the case of Gudan and the Turbo Family, the network that made the profile stand out was precisely TikTok, which could still be considered “new” in Brazil in June 2020.

As Gudan’s profile went viral very quickly for its fun and funny content, Zanq and Isa suffered from one of the biggest problems facing content creators on the internet: content appropriation. They said that Gudan’s videos went viral and began to be replicated on various networks by other profiles without proper credits being given.

The couple decided that it would be necessary to go to other more famous and established social networks to ensure the authorship of their content, expand their presence and prevent fake accounts from appropriating it. That’s how they decided to create an account for Gudan on Instagram, not only to protect his content, but also to convert more humans to the cause of “turbo mode” and to let them know the observations about life promoted by the canine.

Gudan talks about castration

Gudan is currently at TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Kwai and Waze, showing himself as a multimedia canine.

Gabriel started Yellow’s Instagram page in 2018. After four months they had gained about 5,000 followers, until a follower shared the story on Twitter and ended up going viral. The number of followers skyrocketed, causing Gabriel and Yellow to even go on TV shows like Meeting with Fatima Bernardes, on Globo.

Yellow has profiles on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, with a greater focus on Instagram, but has an eye on new platforms like TikTok and Kwai.

how animal content is born

You can’t film the dogs all the time, of course. Zanq is responsible for editing and making the voices of Gudan, Blant (Gudan’s sister) and other non-humans that eventually appear in the videos, while Isa takes care of administrative and issues related to contracts and partnerships.

While many people think Gudan’s voice is done by Google Translator, it’s all done by Zanq who said he has no specific inspiration for creating the scripts and voices, with inspiration coming from a variety of sources. From dramatic narrations from National Geographic documentaries, to teleclasses of some random course he won’t take, as reported by Isa.

Gudan and the rain of stones

In the beginning they always used to record, edit and post on the same day. Over time, they began to accumulate hours of recording and managed to have greater scope to work with the content. But it wasn’t always like this: they worked up to 16 hours a day, which created a lot of stress on both of them and that’s when they decided they would need a team.

During this period, they decided that it would be necessary to have the support of an agency, Collective, to take care of issues related to the relationship with brands. For those who are starting to stand out on social media, Zanq recommends looking for an agency or someone specializing in influential marketing, as this professional will have the expertise to know how to act and price the jobs.

The cyclist dog Yellow, on the other hand, has a “normal” routine, if we can use that word. It’s on the weekends that she and Gabriel go for the most extreme tours, such as trails and bike rides. One of the pedal sessions yielded 255 km in about six hours.

Gabriel, Yellow and the 255 km pedal

Living on the internet is not so simple

When Zanq and Isa joined TikTok, the platform still didn’t offer remuneration, and even that naughty code you can share to invite others didn’t exist. Thus, the famous “living on the internet” was a complicated task.

The first time they received a contact about advertising was when the profile had around 50,000 followers. It was a contact to make an advertisement for snacks for pets. They were super excited, but the contracts that actually brought in money didn’t start to surface until some time later.

Having a large animal is not cheap, as Zanq said, however Gudan had such a rapid rise in the networks that in October 2020 the dog was already paying its expenses and currently the couple can live off the content produced by their pets’ channels.

“We said that before we used to pay for Gudan’s food. Today he pays for our food and we become his employees”

Isabelle Miranda – Gudan Tutor

Advertising campaigns: far beyond pet products

To the surprise of many people, most of the contracts and advertising partnerships made with Gudan and the Turbo Family are not related to the pet world, but to human products. They’ve advertised dog beers, ink brands, delivery apps, language apps and even streaming services.

There is much more advertising aimed at human consumption than others related to pets. A process that makes sense since the content produced in the profile is related to a very comprehensive humor that works for both parents of pets and people who like fun content from a talking husky.

Pet influencers are so popular that some companies have focused their campaigns to launch new products in this group of content creators, as was the case of Burger King, which launched in the country the dogpper, a dog treat. The product has a visual identity similar to snacks for humans and the launch campaign encouraged pet tutors to ask for the dogpper along with your snack combos on order for delivery.

Dogpper Campaign (Image: Publicity)

Burger King’s staff informed the Techblog that Brazil is the second country that sells most pet products, with 6.4% of the global share, and dogpper it was a way to take advantage of this hype, attract new consumers and build a new social action for the brand focused on the pet universe.

According to the brand, pet influencers are stars of the moment on social networks and promote their content with a lot of engagement and ownership. Therefore, profiles with great reach were chosen for the campaign.

Dogpper Campaign

The campaign reached 719 million impressions and 460 organic publications, including press and social networks. It was also important for the brand’s entry into TikTok, as with less than a month, the profile reached more than 100 thousand fans and more than 50 million views of its contents.

During the campaign, the company allowed payments involving Dogpper to be made with Dogecoins, the cryptocurrency that emerged based on a Shiba Inu dog meme and that eventually appears among billionaire Elon Musk’s tweets.

Dogecoin (Image: Reproduction)

According to Burger King, adherence to the payment method was relatively good, considering that cryptocurrencies are still not being widely used and it was the company’s first insertion in this environment.

Creating a Pet Backpack

Pet influencers rely on interactions with brands to generate their revenue, but in some cases, they create their own companies and products, as was the case with Gabriel who created Yellow Pet, his brand of backpacks for transporting dogs.

As Yellow accompanies Gabriel in most of his adventures, he always tried to accommodate his four-legged companion as best he could, however, he identified the lack of a reliable product that would make Yellow comfortable, since common baskets and backpacks did not. that. He searched for products in Brazil and abroad, but did not identify anything that suited him.

In conversation with an artifact designer friend and a veterinarian, he created models for humans to be able to carry dogs up to 20 kg on adventures. It sounds simple speaking now, but the entire process between product development and company structuring took almost a year.

How to put a dog in the Yellow Pet backpack

Gabriel and Yellow’s main source of income comes from selling their backpacks, although they also advertise products. Gabriel, as well as Gudan’s tutors, also participated in advertising campaigns for products for humans, such as when he partnered to promote the Motorola One Action, a cell phone that had an angular camera and focused on people who practiced extreme sports and activities in nature. To Techblog, Gabriel said that Yellow will participate in a Netflix project related to innovative businesses. Keep an eye.

Having a pet changed the lives of humans (and pets)

Zanq and Isa seek to help the animal cause by supporting NGOs and making donations. For this they created the weekly charts “Help Gudanzinho” and “SOS Blantosaura” where they share information about NGOs and people who need help. This is a sensitive topic for them due to the fact that Gudan and Blant are bought dogs. “The fact that our dogs are bought doesn’t make us unable to support causes like adoption,” says Zanq. The tables related to the aid campaigns in six months generated around 20 thousand reais in donations and helped more than 100 animals.

The attitude of having a pet completely changed the life of pets and their humans. After all, if Zanq and Isa didn’t have Gudan, their lives would probably be very different. The same goes for Gabriel, who before adopting Yellow thought about being an athlete and somehow living off the bike.

“Who would have thought that I would work doing what I like, which is pedaling and producing content, but with a dog. So my dream came true. Only in a different way.”

Gabriel Pego – Yellow Tutor

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