American Marketer


Gilt to help puppies find furever homes at adoption weekend

August 17, 2016

Neville Jacobs posing with his book Neville Jacobs posing with his book


Online flash retailer Gilt is putting a new spin on the dog days of summer idiom by hosting a pet adoption day in New York.

Gilt will host “The Dog Days of Summer” event on the weekend of Aug. 26-28 in celebration of National Dog Day, observed that Friday. The Dog Days of Summer event will be staged at Saks OFF 5th’s Uptown location where Gilt, owned by Saks’ parent company Hudson’s Bay Company since January, operates a concept Gilt Shop.

A girl’s best friend
During The Dog Days of Summer weekend event, consumers are encouraged to stop by Saks OFF 5th for some shopping, as well as the opportunity to adopt a shelter puppy.

Working with North Shore Animal League America, Gilt is helping home dogs in need by covering the adoption costs for the first 20 consumers approved to adopt.

Fielding the best consumers to give a dog a furever home will help instill that pets should never be considered accessories.

This spring, online retailer Lyst went viral courtesy of a controversial launch of a collection marketing dogs as fashion accessories.

After unveiling its “Canine Collection” on May 9, the ecommerce site drew criticism from the RSPCA and concerned consumers, who were worried about the seemingly flippant attitude shown towards the dogs’ well-being.

Lyst Dogs ecommerce

Lyst's fake ecommerce page for dogs

After sticking to its narrative, Lyst revealed that the stunt was fake, and used its increased attention and mentions to spotlight the issue of "handbag dogs" (see story).

While Lyst’s initiative set out to make an important statement, most dog-fronted campaigns are light-hearted and give consumers an excuse to show off their fur babies.

Last year, during National Dog Day the luxury industry put canine companions on display to make a personal connection with consumers.

From calls for user-generated content featuring consumers’ pooches to dedicated content and product selections, brands found ways to insert themselves in the social conversation surrounding the holiday. While not overtly branded, this type of social effort helps to show off a marketer's personality beyond the product.

For example, Selfridges told consumers to share their snaps of their dog along with the retailer’s bright yellow shopping bags, using the hashtag #SelfridgesDogs for a chance to be featured.

Selfridges National Dog Day

Consumers obliged, sending in photos of their pets peeking out of bags, some of which were reposted on the retailer’s Instagram (see story).