Dog's-Eye View: Marketing Thinking That's Outside of the 'Dog Box'
[Editor’s note: Peter Rosenwald may be pulling our legs saying that his dog, Jordan, wrote this post.]
My name is Jordan, and I’ll bet you didn’t know that in England, when you’ve been naughty, you are sent to the “dog box.” (It’s really your usual sleeping spot in the household. But your person says, “Stop that barking, or you’re going to the dog box!” So I’ve been there a lot.)
But now my person, Peter Rosenwald, is a big fan of TheDogTrainingSecret.com, which he says has lots of seemingly out-of-the- box marketing ideas that rely on proven methods — but should inspire copy mavens to resist the boring, tried-and-true benefit recitals and think about better ways (I think they are called “narratives”) to capture the attention of dog lovers and sell them lots of stuff. As the gurus keep saying, it’s all about building relationships. We dogs can be very good at that.
Chet Womach is the human personality behind DogTrainingSecret and he is the one writing to you or speaking on the promotional videos. He comes over as such a nice guy, with all of the same dog training problems as his clients and prospects, that you can’t resist his almost daily come-ons.
For a dog training masterclass, Womach sends you a “ONE-HOUR WARNING,” with just a bit of a threat:
“Now for some bad news ...
There are more people registered for this
class than the system can actually hold.
... So please get there a few minutes early
to avoid losing your seat.”
My person says that’s one of the best calls to action he has ever seen. I think it might have been better if Womach offered a bonus of free dog biscuits. But what do I know? I know that, like our owners (we actually own them as much as they own us), we have foibles that might be smoothed out with a good fix.
That’s why Womach rolls over the idea of a “most beautiful” competition, and completely involves the prospect when he creates a "Caught In The Act" VIDEO CONTEST” to “Show me your dog's WORST behavior … any habit you can’t break!!! ... And you'll be automatically entered to win 1 of 3 GRAND PRIZES: Plus, be entered to win 1 of 7 FREE COPIES of my soon-to-be-released new dog training program.”
I’m sure my race of canines, especially the ones whose owners aren’t too embarrassed to enter them in a “worst behavior” contest, could do with some behavior modification. This contest ought to generate very qualified leads, while everyone is having a good bark. That “soon-to-be-released” new dog training program is what Womach is softly selling. Who would want to pass up the idea of improving his best friend?
Womach is always telling us dogs simple stories we can relate to. For example, after explaining to my person how wonderful it is to bond with your dog, he admits that “You’ve probably seen your dog get so hyper that he goes deaf to your commands … You tell him to “sit” or “stay,” but he doesn’t listen … He just goes about his business.”
The story continues, and then there is the part I like best. Because it is about Greeley, a Golden retriever just like me. “But if a small animal races by,” Womach tells us, “Greeley forgets his self-control and goes on a wild chase. Yelling ‘wait, stop!’ had zero effect on him.” He’ll end up in the dog box, for sure.
The owners of the dogs I hang out with fully understand this — and having become sufficiently involved in the narrative, they can’t resist a classic “no obligation, FREE trial offer with a hefty $37.95 monthly open-ended subscription.” If it works for them, I hope this won’t create any substance abuse problems.
My person says that, like all good medicament ads, there has to be a big promise. And what could be better than Womach assuring us:
“Today, my friend can take Greeley anywhere and feel at ease around each other. If you’d like your dog to get in touch with his calmer side and develop self-control, Click Here Now.”
Sometimes, these messages can be really way OOB (Out-of-Box) but you can’t argue that, however unusual, they are certainly eye-catching.
I’ve often mused about the idea of playing God, and it sounds like fun. Womach must have thought so, too. Because, in addition to the video, he goes on and on and on like a possessed preacher promising Dog Heaven on Earth — and winding up, after very long copy, with a very personal promise:
And even though you're getting a total package valued at $194 for just $37 … I’m still willing to let you have it all RISK FREE for the next 60 days, with my generous 100% money back guarantee.
I’m confident that “Socialization Secret” is going to make a significant difference in your dog’s life, transforming him into a happier, more relaxed, more confident companion in as little as 2 weeks.
Actually, while I know that my person really admires this imaginative promotional magic and he says he learns a lot from how Womach finds new ways to use tested DM methods, I have to admit that I find it all a bit too complicated and long-winded. But perhaps that’s because, at heart, I treasure what’s disparagingly called “a dog’s life” — playing with my toys, sleeping, eating, and being adored.
Please get your dog out of the dog box. Ask him/her what he/she thinks about all of this, and let me know. Barking preferred.
Peter J. Rosenwald is an expat American living and working in Brazil; founder and first CEO of Wunderman Worldwide, International Division of Wunderman agency) and first chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Direct Worldwide; strategist and senior executive in charge of building subscription and data-driven marketing for Editora Abril, Latin America's leading magazine publisher; founder of Consult Partners, active strategic marketing consultancy working in Brazil, U.S. and U.K. International keynote speaker on data-driven marketing and author of "Accountable Marketing" (Thomson), "Profiting From the Magic of Marketing Metrics" (Direct Marketing IQ), and "GringoView" blog author for Brazilian Huffington Post. With an international perspective, my blog's purpose is to share my maverick views of this business I've spent the last half-century working in, enjoying and observing.