Dogs Drive Vine Views for Milk-Bone

Builds more than 2,700 followers in month-long push

Dog treat brand Milk-Bone is wrapping up its first Vine initiative tomorrow, with some interesting results on what works on the six-second video app. Milk-Bone worked with VaynerMedia and its sister Vine agency Grapestory to produce seven pieces of branded video from four influencers over the past month.

The videos are part of a broader digital campaign called the "Toothbrush Challenge" that asks pet owners to upload a video of their dog deciding to gnaw on either a toothbrush or a Brushing Chews product for the chance to win $2,500 and a year’s supply of dog treats. The idea is to drive awareness and sales. "Partnering with Vine influencers allowed us to replicate a live demo that was shared thousands of times," said Gina Squara, director of digital strategy at Big Heart Pet Brands, which owns Milk-Bone.

The four Vine stars chosen for the campaign were Sunny Mabrey (with 668,000 followers), Brandon Calvillo (who has 3.1 million fans), Christian Leonard (boasting more than 844,000 followers) and Jerome Jarre (with 6.2 million fans).

Despite relying on the six-second video celebs, a quick scroll-through on the videos shows that interestingly, the videos that bode well for Milk-Bone most in terms of engagement are those that focus more on dogs featured in the clips rather than the Vine stars themselves.

For example, one six-second video clip posted two weeks ago chronicles a dog’s journey in pulling Jarre across the screen on a skateboard in its quest to get a Brushing Chew. The video has racked up an impressive 45,840 "likes" and more than 8,600 revines despite the fact that Jarre’s involvement is kept to a minimum.

Another video with Calvillo raked in 25,900 "likes" and more than 5,500 revines. Similar to the skateboarding spot, this video plays up the perspective of the dog while downplaying the Vine star.

To compare, the brand’s first Vine that focuses on Mabrey mistaking a toothbrush for a dog toy only brought in a little more than 5,500 "likes" and 1,300 revines. Leonard—who is known for performing magic tricks on Vine—created two videos that brought in 10,600 and 13,000 views, respectively.

Besides Vine, Milk-Bone also leveraged Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the #ChewsWisely hashtag. Additionally, all Vine videos were uploaded to Facebook and amplified with paid media. On Twitter, all videos were tweeted out, but only one clip from each influencer was supported by a paid push. The Vine influencers also revined the spots they were featured in.

A number of big brands including Buick and Ford are employing similar strategies with campaigns that leverage Vine stars who already have a big presence on the short-clip video app. And if Milk-Bone's campaign is any indication, perhaps marketers should begin shelling out big bucks to feature animals (which tend to tug at consumers' heartstrings) in their clips.

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