November 03, 2014

Petco's 'Make a Scene' Halloween Photo Contest was a Treat for All

Puppies dressed up as ballerinas, kitties sporting superhero clothes … it just makes us all say, “Awwwww.” I mean, how can anyone resist looking at pets wearing killer costumes?

Petco, a leading pet specialty retailer, capitalized on a successful and viral Halloween content marketing campaign yet again this year with its “Make a Scene” Halloween Photo contest. The brand, leveraging its sizeable social media following, asked followers to take a photo of their costumed pet in a scene that matched the costume, then hashtag the photo with #PetcoSceneContest. The winner—a Yorkie dressed up as Mork from Mork & Mindy, as a tribute to the late Robin Williams—received a $25,000 grand prize, plus a one-year supply of Old Mother Hubbard treats.

More than 5,000 participants created crafty Halloween scenes with pets of all kinds, from dogs to geckos. Last year, the contest helped Petco enhance online engagement by 325 percent during October. Here’s the video compilation from “The Best of Petco $25,000 Halloween Pet Costume Photo Contest 2013—Make a Scene!” The 2014 video is still being produced.

In addition to the photo contest, Petco hosted a “Most Bootiful of All Pet Costume Party” in local stores the weekend before Halloween. Pet owners were encouraged to stop by their local Petco with their costumed pet to play fun games and win prizes.

So, what can other brands learn from Petco’s successful Halloween content marketing campaign? Let’s take a look:

  • Make it all about the consumer: Contests are a perfect way to get consumers engaged with a product or service. Everyone likes winning a prize and besting their peers, so your company should consider a competition to go along with its next deal or holiday. Putting your customers in the driver’s seat helps them become interested in your brand and want to come back for more.   
  • Play to your audience’s tendencies: Each year Petco takes advantage of that fact that many pet owners already dress their pets up—sometimes ridiculously—for their own amusement. Petco takes advantage of what its target audience is already doing throughout October. Your business needs to discover the tendencies of your audience to learn what will get them involved in your next promotion.    
  • Get people talking on social media: Today’s content marketing campaigns need to have a stellar social media component to them; a website is no longer enough to spread your brand’s message. With the combination of Petco’s social media photos, social updates throughout the contest and the hashtag it created, the contest went viral. For your next campaign, follow Petco’s game plan and spread the message like wildfire. 

Sometimes, companies need help launching their content marketing campaigns, which is where content strategy vendors come into play. Businesses can enlist the services of such a vendor to ensure their content marketing campaigns are as successful and viral as Petco’s. Click here to learn how we can help you at Content Boost. 

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