Chewy asks pet lovers on TikTok Live date with rescue animals

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Chewy is hosting a TikTok Live event on Feb. 14 to help people find love from rescue animals, the company shared with Marketing Dive. The pet supply retailer’s “Some Buddy to Love” event will feature animal show-and-tells, puppy and kitten livestreams and other virtual activities.
  • In a nod to mobile dating apps, animal profiles will show attendees “eligible cuties” they can adopt. Chewy is extending the reach of its activation by donating a pound of food and supplies to Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League in West Palm Beach, Florida, for each view of “Some Buddy to Love.”
  • The livestream event builds on Chewy’s efforts to connect prospective pet parents with adoptable animals through the Chewy Gives Back program, letting people search by location, personality traits, age and breed and setting them up with some essentials for new pet parenthood.

Dive Insight:

With its “Some Buddy to Love” event on Valentine’s Day, Chewy is attempting to expand the scope of a holiday that typically centers on romantic love between humans. The purpose-driven event aligns with Chewy’s animal-focused identity and is a refreshing, feel-good approach for the online retailer that may generate some goodwill among consumers.

The activation builds on the retailer’s Chewy Gives Back program that launched in late 2020. Its philanthropic efforts have included partnerships with animal welfare organizations and rescue shelters as well as donations of money and products to support animals in need. On Giving Tuesday in November 2021, Chewy pledged to match up to $2 million in consumer donations, surpassing $30 million in donations for 2021 overall. Now, the company is capitalizing on Valentine’s Day to help people “fall in love” with an animal that’s up for adoption.

By using the popular social video app TikTok, Chewy can expand its one-day event beyond Florida, where the partner rescue shelter is located. Making the event available to anyone could also drum up brand recognition for Chewy and help to grow its TikTok following.

“Some Buddy to Love” ramps up Chewy’s focus on TikTok and social media overall. The company made its TikTok debut in December 2020 and has since shared videos of fans’ pets, animals playing with Chewy products and shipping boxes and tips from veterinarians. Last week, Chewy launched an integrated marketing campaign that showed viewers the inner monologues of cats, dogs and bunnies excitedly anticipating their Chewy deliveries. The three 30-second ads, developed with agency 72andSunny, conveys how pets have unique personalities and builds on last year’s TikTok challenge #ChewyChattyPets, where the company encouraged people to share what their pets were thinking. That TikTok effort has since generated 9.1 billion views, suggesting Chewy is looking to build on that momentum with its Valentine’s Day livestream.

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