BarkBox offers canines a custom 'praise song' on National Dog Day

New York City's Gay Men's Chorus is pitching in to give dogs, and their owners, a music treat.

NEW YORK: Simply saying "good dog" to a deserving canine just doesn’t cut it for BarkBox. That’s why the pet-product subscription service has enlisted the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus to create custom "praise songs" for dogs.

BarkBox timed its #PraiseDog campaign for National Dog Day, which is taking place on Monday, and it is calling on dog people to "lift up their pup and join the chorus," according to a statement from the company. Dog owners can get the chorus to sing a song about their pet by replying to @barkbox on Twitter with their dog’s name, a photo and description of why they deserve praise.

Allison Stadd, VP of marketing at BarkBox parent Bark, said the company takes praising dogs "incredibly seriously." 

"We have some friends at the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, and among them are definitely dog people just like us," she said. "We want to go over-the-top, and they share that vision. All day today, they will be creating these live praise songs for people all across the country." 

BarkBox wanted to come up with a concept that would resonate with people and have widespread appeal, Stadd said.

"We are centering the campaign on Twitter, as that is a platform that is driving wide conversations," she added. "We also wanted to drive meaningful business and have the numbers to show what we delivered."

Bark’s business goals include selling a set number of BarkBox subscriptions. Stadd declined to say how many, but added that the company expects the campaign to be the most significant driver of volume outside of the Q4 holiday season. BarkBox also wants to increase organic search, impressions from new channels it is testing and lift brand awareness and buzz.

Other creative components include a video featuring Instagram dog star Tuna Melts My Heart explaining how the campaign works, an ad promo and a teaser. The chorus is featured in a direct response ad campaign with spots running on Hulu, YouTube and paid social media. 

BarkBox also placed 60 #PraiseDog photo pedestals around New York; Nashville, Tennessee; and Austin, Texas, to drive user-generated content.

The New York staff of Confidant is assisting BarkBox on communications for the campaign.

"Like a lot of brands in the DTC space, we are trying to evolve out of this reliance on direct response marketing," said Stadd. "That kind of bread and butter marketing world is increasingly oversaturated."

She added that the company wants to "speak to people at a higher level" rather than simply driving them to tap on an ad and buy something immediately.

"This is our first big step forward into that new world order," Stadd said.

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