NEWS & FEATURES
Have you heard the woofest mews?
Have you heard the woofest mews?
By ALMA J. BUELVA
PURINA Petcare Philippines, a business unit of Nestlé, is fueling a Facebook-based project to promote the local breed of cats, many of which are neglected and homeless.
Pusang Pinoy or Puspins they are called, Philippines' version of (British) moggies are currently basking in the limelight after Purina created an online stage for them to shine. PuspinsofMeownila is a Facebook-driven project of Purina's local team that highlights the beauty and fine quality of Puspins.
PuspinsofMeownila entries like these four photos above celebrate the beauty and fine qualities of local cats. (Photos from Purina Philippines)
Until recently, the Puspin used to go by a derogatory nickname “Pusakal”, short for Pusang Kalye, as many of them are strays. The fact that it has been given a more dignified name is proof that many people appreciate Puspins and for good reason.
PuspinsofMeownila lets anyone share stories and photos of their Puspins on Purina's official Facebook page to inspire more people to take Puspins as pets. The combined use of images and stories creates a compelling narrative, made more valuable by supporting comments from like-minded individuals.
Through PuspinsofMeownila, more people will hopefully see that the native kitties can be as adorable as purebred cats. PuspinsofMeownila is a valuable publicity tool for the many Puspins that are wandering the streets and languishing in shelters, all hoping to be soon adopted into loving homes.
“PuspinsofMeownila is designed to help increase Puspin adoptions, give these cats a 'voice' and show that they are also very lovable,” said Joshua Frederick P. Alarkon of Purina Petcare Philippines.
Although Facebook is the project's platform of choice, PuspinsofMeownila inevitably found its way in the photo-sharing application Instagram, where proud Puspin owners share their photos using the official hashtag #PuspinsofMeownila.
From June to November 2015, Purina received over 2,000 entries from Puspin owners, all declaring their love and gratitude for their low-maintenance Puspin that's every inch a good cat.
STRIKE a paws! There is now a talent agency exclusively for pets and it's looking to launch the modeling career of Internet pet sensations.
Fohr Card which runs an online directory service for creative bloggers and creative brands in the fashion industry, has created a new division – Fur Card – to gather and organize pet online sensations in one place as the next great brand influencers.
Fur Card wants brands to easily find the right four-legged model for their ad campaigns based on the animal celebrities' social “pawprints” or number of followers on different types of social media platforms.
“We started Fohr Card early in 2013 because it was clear that digital influencers were going to be an integral part of the advertising landscape, and we wanted to make sure that happened more effectively and quickly. Since then, a new trend has emerged that has proved impossible to ignore: the rise of the animal influencer,” stated Fohr Card founders.
“Animals have always been a big part of brand marketing, and now those brands are looking to leverage animals that already have a social following. There was no easy way for brands to find and quantify the reach of those animals, Fur Card fixes that,” they added.
Launched last April, Fur Card quickly populated its online directory with a roster of about 400 pets – mostly found on Instagram. Each featured animal is given its own profile page, ranked by Instagram followers (other social media stats to be added later).
Together Fur Card's pet models have a combined total reach of 30 million followers per month. Some of them even have over one million followers like Siamese and Tabby cat Nala (@nala_cat) which at 1.87 million followers is currently Fur Card's the top animal influencer. Other Fur Card A-listers are Maru (@marutaro), a Shiba with nearly 1.49 million followers; Tuna (@tunameltsmyheart), a Chiweenie with an overbite and followed by 1.3 million people online, and Marnie (@marniethedog), a silly Shih Tzu from New York City with 1.2 million followers.
Grumpy Cat, of course, is among the model agency's top assets even though the scowling cat only ranked at No. 11. Marc Jacobs’ dog, Neville, is ranked 28th in the directory with 122,000 followers, while The Fat Jew’s rescue Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Toast (@toastmeetsworld) is ranked 16 with 211,000 fans.
Fur Card aims to connect them and other equally deserving pets with star power to the brands that make up the $53 billion a year pet supplies industry. The demand for non-human talent online is expected to keep growing and Fur Card, though currently offered for free, will eventually charge for subscriptions for its virtual “catwalk”.
Do you think your pet could be the next Fur Card top model?
HOW FUR CARD'S SYSTEM WORKS
Right now most of the profiles are scrapped from Instagram, but owners can easy claim their pet’s Fur Card profile and connect additional accounts (Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook)
Animals are ranked by their total social following pulled from Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.
Brands can message animals directly from the platform, making collaboration easier than ever.
Right now the service is free for everyone. Just like on Fohr Card, we will eventually charge a subscription fee.
* Claws out! Cat lovers fight over this Starbucks mug