Media and Marketing of Major Dog Shows

Part
01
of three
Part
01

AKC National Championships, Westminster Dog Show and the National Dog Show- Media Coverage

Some key themes on the AKC National Championships that are covered in the media include the expansion of sponsorship by Royal Canin, and 2019 being the third year of having Royal Canin as the presenting sponsor.

THE AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • PRNewswire stated that the AKC National Championship would be presented by Royal Canin, returning to Animal Planet as a four-hour special on first January 2019.
  • Royal Canin was obsessed about making dogs healthier through nutrition, and they are proud to be a part of the AKC National Championship to celebrate the uniqueness of breeds and how they impact people's lives.
  • Media Post wrote that Royal Canin is expanding its sponsorship of the AKC National Championship Dog Show; 2019 is the third year that Royal Canin is the presenting sponsor.
  • Royal Canin also launched a photo contest on its website asking handlers and breeders to upload a photo of their dog for a monetary prize for their breed’s parent club. The contest had more than 21,592 submissions, representing all 192 AKC breeds.
  • The Eukanuba brand, part of the Royal Canin, also became the sponsor of companion events that included a world record attempt for the longest jump. TropiClean Pet Products and WeatherTech, maker of vehicle accessories, are the other sponsors.
  • PetBusiness stated that TropiClean Pet Products had its first-time sponsorship of the AKC National Championship, presented by the Royal Canin in the 2019 show.
  • Tropiclean provided product samples of Fresh Breath and Oral Care Gel for the competing dogs and attendees during the AKC National Championships event at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

THE WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW

  • According to a Bloomberg publication, two new breeds appeared at Westminster, the grand basset griffon Vendeen and the Nederlandse kooikerhondje, after both of the breeds were recognized by the American Kennel Club.
  • The recognition process takes years and includes setting standards and having hundreds of dogs spread around the country, with each of them getting a nationally televised turn among the more than 200 breeds and varieties on the green carpet at the nation's premier canine contest.
  • Fox News' Officials also announced that Westminster Kennel Club dog show would welcome two new dog breeds into their elite dog show competition in February 2019, the grand basset griffon Vendeen and the Nederlandse kooikerhondje breeds.
  • NYPost stated that there would be a tough competition at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 2019 because the new breeds would be joining the existing population of 3,200 canines and 190 breeds.

THE WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW CANCELED

  • The DailyMail announced that the Westminster dog of the year contest was canceled for the safety of the pets and their owners, amid an increase in the protests around the parliament.
  • The Westminster Kennel Club said that the club and the Dogs Trust had to cancel the show for safety reasons, but that the winner of 'pawblic' vote would still be announced. [source 7]
  • Metro News stated that issues such as Brexit had more dominance and pushed the Westminster dog of the year show aside, as a result.
  • The event had been canceled for the second time in two weeks, amid safety concerns for the MPs taking part. The contest had been running for 27 years and opened to all parliamentarians’ dogs, regardless of breed, creed or pawlitical persuasion.

THE NATIONAL DOG SHOW

  • IBTimes revealed that one of the widely popular shows, The National Dog Show's 17th annual Thanksgiving Day would air from 12 noon to 2 p.m. in all zones in the United States on Thanksgiving.
  • The show was held on a Saturday and Sunday and the NBC. The host was John O'Hurley, who had been the host since its inaugural year in 2002, with David Frei as co-host and expert analyst.
  • Newsweek also announced that the popular National Dog Show was aired after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, on NBC. The airing took a five-hour block on the broadcasting station's lineup.
  • NBC Sports correspondent Mary Carillo, who had been with the show since 2010, was to serve as a correspondent, according to NBC. John O'Hurley said in an NBC press release that he was proud to be the part of the legacy in a rich history of dog breeds.
  • US Magazine also published that the animal event is set to air in all time zones at noon on NBC on Thursday, November 22, immediately after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • If US citizens were traveling at that time, they could watch via the NBC Sports app on their mobile devices or tablets. Instead of David Frei and Mary Carillo, Olympic figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir were to all things backstage.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We leveraged information on key themes in the media on the AKC National Championships, the Westminster Dog Show and the National Dog Show from news agencies such as the Mirror, FoxNews, and PRNewswire. We found that the key themes on the National Dog Show were about where and how to watch it.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

AKC National Championships, Westminster Dog Show and the National Dog Show- Social Media

Social sentiments for the American Kennel Club (AKC) National Championships, Westminster Dog Show and the National Dog Show are mostly neutral to positive. Common related themes and topics around these shows include advocacy such as dog rescue and adoption. These are outlined below.

AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • The American Kennel Club National Championship was mostly represented by the hashtag #AKCDogShow.
  • SocialAnimal shows that AKC Dog Show content/articles garnered the most engagement on Facebook, followed by Twitter.
  • Social Searcher shows that social sentiment for AKC National Dog Championship was mostly neutral (75% from 241 posts).
  • Under Detailed Statistics - Sentiment, Social Searcher showed the following sentiment results for major social media networks: Facebook - 36.4% positive, 63.6% neutral; Twitter - 100% positive; YouTube - 84% positive, 2% negative and 14% neutral; Instagram had no posts about the AKC National Dog Championship.
  • Social Sentiment tool 30dB showed no sentiment for AKC Dog Show.
  • However, it showed predominantly positive (62%) than negative (38%) sentiment for the American Kennel Club in general.
  • Hashtagify identified the following related topics to the AKC Dog Show: Dog Thanking, Team Dog, Dog Rescue, and the National Dog Show.

WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW

  • The Westminster Dog Show was mostly represented by the hashtag #WKCDogShow.
  • SocialAnimal shows that WKC Dog Show content and articles had the greatest traction on Facebook followed by Twitter.
  • Social Searcher shows that social sentiment for Westminster Dog Show was mostly neutral (71% from 464 posts).
  • Under Detailed Statistics - Sentiment, Social Searcher showed the following sentiment results for major social media networks: Facebook - 37.5% positive, 62.5% neutral; Twitter - 44.7% positive, 9.4% negative and 45.9% neutral; YouTube - 14% positive and 86% neutral; Instagram - 52.8% positive, 1.4% negative and 45.8% neutral.
  • The Social Sentiment tool 30dB showed predominantly negative (64%) sentiments for the Westminster Dog Show.
  • Hashtagify identified the following related themes/topics to the WKC Dog Show: Best in Show, Best at Home contest, Adopt-Don't Buy, Hound, Terrier and Beagle.

NATIONAL DOG SHOW

  • The National Dog Show hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia was mostly represented by the hashtag #NationalDogShow.
  • SocialAnimal shows that the National Dog Show content/articles had the greatest engagement on Facebook followed by Twitter.
  • Social Searcher shows that social sentiment for National Dog Show was mostly neutral (47% from 222 posts) and positive (44% from 206 posts).
  • Under Detailed Statistics - Sentiment, Social Searcher showed the following sentiment results for major social media networks: Facebook - 72.7% positive, 27.3% neutral; Twitter - 100% positive; YouTube - 40% positive, 18% negative and 42% neutral; Instagram - 33.3% positive and 66.7% neutral.
  • The Social Sentiment tool 30dB showed a 100% positive sentiment for the National Dog Show.
  • Hashtagify identified the following related themes/topics to the National Dog Show: Dog Thanking, Trump, GetGlue, Macy's Parade, and Thanksgiving.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We began by looking at the social media networks themselves to see if they had tools for content analysis. Neither Twitter nor any of the other social media networks provided publicly available content or sentiment analysis but only aggregated top posts, people, and photos. We then looked through the official website of the organizations hosting these events to see if they had any links to certain social media conversations around the event. We also checked if these home websites had any community forums from which we could gather insights on conversation themes around the competitions. None offered the information we were looking for, as they only published press releases of the events such as this news section from AKC. As such, we decided to consult with social sentiment tools including Social Animal, Social Searcher, 30dB and Hashtagify. Social Searcher showed all available content for a topic regardless of time, but did not have a filter for narrowing the timeline of posts. Its only allowed filters for post types, sentiment and sources. Please also note that this tool searches real time results so data may more or less vary from the collected data at the time of research. Social Animal gave results up to the past 12 months only. However, it offers an in-depth insight analysis upon subscription which may include key themes in social conversations surrounding the 3 events above. Hashtagify analyzed Twitter tweets up to the past 2 months only. It offers a detailed analysis of hashtags, engaged audience, and rankings with a free trial. 30dB provides analysis of social sentiment up to the past 30 days only.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

AKC National Championships, Westminster Dog Show and the National Dog Show- Brand Activations

This year, Purina has performed a live donation to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, during the Westminster Dog Show broadcast.

Purina Donation to AKC Canine Health Foundation

Helpful findings

Research strategy

The research team was only able to locate one experiential marketing event at the three championship shows. To find this information, we have deployed the following strategies:

To start the search, we have examined websites from all the identified shows, hoping to find reports on sponsors that have creatively advertised "on the field", that is, during the live broadcasts. Although exhaustive lists of sponsors and their booth locations were available on the official websites, all information specifically pertaining to their advertising during the show focused on their locations only, without highlighting their actions during the show. None of the media coverage, photos or videos available on the websites portrayed live brand activations.

Secondly, we've decided to search websites from all the companies that have sponsored the shows under investigation, in order to locate statements or reports from companies themselves regarding creative activations they have demonstrated on the shows. After extensively searching each of the sponsor websites, including SABYLOO, Royal Canin, FineARF, only one relevant brand activation came up, the Purina donation that took place during the Westminster Dog Show earlier this year. Because not enough information was obtained to answer the query, we've abandoned this strategy.

Then, we have turned to scanning marketing report databases and advertising agencies such as Ad Week, Ad Age and Hubspot, since they usually compile reports on the topic on creative, innovative marketing strategies. Our goal was to find third-party reports on the creative brand activations that took place on these events in either the past 2 or 5 years. The available reports focused on social media stunts that happened in relation to the events rather than live brand demonstrations. Also, some reports focused on the work the social media agency Glow has done for the Westminster Dog Show. However, even after expanding the scope of the search to the past 5 years, no other brands were mentioned in relation to any of the dog shows under investigation.

As a last resort, we have decided to search for viewer reactions or discussions surrounding brand demonstrations, specifically those that took place during the AKC National Championships, the Westminster Dog Show and the National Dog Shows. We have examined viewer comments on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media, as well as blogs, forums and review sites that discuss these shows. After exhaustive examination of several hundred comments, reactions and opinions on these sites, none of the comments focused on a brand activation. Instead, the available comments mostly surrounded dog contestants, experiences from the live audience and final scores, without mentions of any live advertisements.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "The AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin will feature thousands of dogs from around the world competing for various titles across multiple events and more than $150,000 in prize money, the largest in the world of dog shows. Audiences will see highlights from each competition category, including agility and dock diving, and the show will culminate with the highly anticipated Best in Show."
  • "Royal Canin USA President and Golden Retriever owner, Kamie Eckert added: "At Royal Canin, we're obsessed with finding ways to make dogs healthier through tailored nutrition because we believe dogs make our lives better. That belief makes us so proud to be a part of the AKC National Championship as we celebrate the uniqueness of breeds and the amazing way they impact our lives.""
Quotes
  • "Royal Canin Expands AKC Championship Sponsorship, Adds Celebsby Tanya Gazdik , December 19, 2018 Royal Canin is expanding its sponsorship of the AKC National Championship Dog Show."
  • "The four-hour event will air at 6 p.m. ET on Animal Planet on New Year’s Day and will also be live-streamed on AKC.TV. This year marks Royal Canin’s third year as the presenting sponsor."
Quotes
  • "TropiClean Pet Products is a first-time sponsor of the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin. The AKC National Championship, the largest dog show in North America, will return to Animal Planet on Jan. 1, 2019 at 6 p.m., as more than 5,000 dogs from 49 states and 21 countries compete for Best in Show."
Quotes
  • "The grand basset griffon Vendeen and the Nederlandse kooikerhondje make their debuts at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show next month, each getting a nationally televised turn among the more than 200 breeds and varieties on the green carpet at the nation's premier canine contest."
Quotes
  • "There’s going to be some ruff competition at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show this year — with two new breeds joining the ­already stacked lineup involving some 3,200 canines and 190 breeds. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen and the Nederlandse kooikerhondje will get the chance to strut their stuff at Madison Square Garden next month after attaining official recognition from the American Kennel Club."
Quotes
  • "The Westminster Dog of the Year contest has been cancelled over fears for the safety of MPs and their pets. The Kennel Club axed the competition, which was set to take place in London today, amid an increase in protests around Parliament. "
Quotes
  • "Westminster Dog of the Year has been cancelled for the second time in two weeks, amid safety concerns for MPs taking part. The contest, which has been running for 27 years, is open to ‘all parliamentarians’ dogs, regardless of breed, creed or pawlitical persuasion’."
Quotes
  • "The wildly popular National Dog Show's 17th annual Thanksgiving Day special will air from 12 noon to 2 p.m. in all time zones across the United States on Thanksgiving Day. The annual canine competition took place Saturday and Sunday and NBC edits the 18-plus hours of footage into two hours."
Quotes
  • "The adorable animal event is set to air at 12 p.m. (in all time zones) on Thursday, November 22, on NBC immediately after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you’ll be among the millions of Americans who will be traveling at that time, you can watch via the NBC Sports app on your mobile device or tablet."
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Sentiment Positive (74) Negative (8) Neutral (241)"
Quotes
  • "Twitter Engagements 1.1K Facebook Engagements 1.2K Pinterest Shares 6 Reddit Engagements 0 Total Engagements 2.3K"
Quotes
  • "Twitter Engagements 7 Facebook Engagements 10K Pinterest Shares 4 Reddit Engagements 0 Total Engagements 10K"
Quotes
  • "Sentiment Positive (160) Negative (33) Neutral (464)"
Quotes
  • "#BestInShow #BestAtHomeContest #WestminsterDogShow #AdoptDontBuy #hound #Terrier #beagle"
Quotes
  • "Twitter Engagements 1.7K Facebook Engagements 22K Pinterest Shares 28 Reddit Engagements 0 Total Engagements 24K"
Quotes
  • "Sentiment Positive (192) Negative (31) Neutral (149)"