Going to the Dogs

The famed cats and dogs of the Internet can generate significant retail sales of licensed and collaborative merchandise. As a result, more and more “petfluencers” are signing with agents and/or launching licensing efforts. Dogs have been in the spotlight of late, with at least three notable examples having signed with agents to expand their merchandise lines and other commercial activities in recent months:

  • Maymo, a lemon beagle with more than 3 billion lifetime views on YouTube since 2011, 125 million monthly content views, and an average of 2 million views per video, is represented by Semaphore Licensing Solutions, in a deal announced in February. Maymo is known for being portrayed in elaborate costumes and in other humorous photos, such as with a stack of donuts on his head, as well as in videos where he and his sister Penny perform activities such as making Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Pluto, the star of the social media brand Pluto Living, is represented by The Gotham Group and Sterling Lord Literistic. The deal was announced in May. The property got its start on Facebook in March 2020 as owner Nancie Wight thought her “talking” schnauzer would help lighten the lives of people stuck at home during the pandemic. The original video was followed by a Facebook page that has attracted 7 million unique visitors per month. Together, Pluto Living’s YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram pages generate more than 20 million views per month. Merchandise such as t-shirts with the phrase “Hello. I like fish sticks.” are currently on sale.
  • Walter Geoffrey The Frenchie, a dog with a unique bark, is being represented by Seltzer Licensing Group. The pup generates 2.1 million views and 535,000 engagements per post, has amassed 2.5 million followers across social media platforms, and receives an average of 98,000 views for each Instagram and Facebook story. Drops of 1,000 units of product, including dad hats, koozies, pins, patches, and totes, sell out in hours on Walter Geoffrey’s website, totaling $65,000 in sales monthly. The goal is to scale up the direct-to-consumer business as well as move into licensing, sponsorships, collaborations, and publishing. Due to Walter’s distinctive bark, audio will be a focus.

These recent examples join other petfluencers and petfluencer estates involved in licensing. They include Jiff Pom and Doug the Pug—two of the leaders in the landscape today—as well as Grumpy Cat, Boo the World’s Cutest Dog, and Li’l Bub, among many, many others.

Raugust Communications has published its coverage of Licensing Week Virtual, the all-digital replacement for this year’s cancelled Licensing Expo. One article takes a look at the key trends from the show’s keynotes and presentations, as well as conversations with sponsors and attendees, while another examines participants’ experience with the platform and the potential for virtual events to complement the live show going forward. Both pieces can be found here.

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