Have you ever been surfing Facebook, YouTube or Twitter and come across an image of animals being abused, slaughtered or used as a piece of clothing? Were you shocked? Horrified? Disgusted? Wanted to hide in a corner and shed a tear or two? Well, most likely it’s an image intended to engage such emotions within you in order to learn about the unethical treatment of animals. The non-profit organization ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) uses the tactics of shock advertising to capture people’s attention and create buzz in social media.
Using a variety of social media platforms (Facebook; Twitter; Google+; YouTube; Tumblr; StumbleUpon; Pinterest), PETA has a strong and loyal animal-activist audience consisting over more than 2 million+ followers on Facebook alone. An approximate 10-20,000+ shares, 20,000+ likes and thousands of comments about these issues occur within each graphic image PETA posts. Using social media as their main source of engaging people to learn about these issues, PETA doesn’t seem to care if they offend or make people angry. They cut to the chase using a short message and graphic imagery resulting in an engaging advertisement to make people aware of what’s happening to animals across the world.
It’s without a doubt that this organization strategically markets their brand successfully.
Well, how does PETA successfully capture their target audience? When comparing the David Aaker’s Brand Equity Model there seem to be certain elements within that PETA successfully achieves. By engaging their target audience with a strong brand association and identity, PETA develops a loyal and active audience. Although PETA is a non-profit organization, they use the similar structure of Aaker’s Brand Equity Model to successfully achieve a convincing non-profit organization brand.
Although PETA doesn’t use the typical marketing strategies, would their messages be as successful if they didn’t use shock advertising as their main methodology of branding themselves? Animals don’t have voices so we as people have to be the voices for them. If it weren’t for PETA would people be talking about the unethical treatment of animals in social media?
I’m not so convinced that they would.