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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

PetSmart: A YouTube Refresh Worth Barking About

Audience Honor in Pets & Animals, YouTube Partnership


In 2017, people spent 60% more time watching YouTube than in the previous year and this trend showed no sign of slowing down. However, PetSmart faced a challenge: their YouTube channel was stagnant. Outdated training videos were no longer resonating with the audiences they needed to reach. PetSmart wanted to breathe new life into their YouTube channel, so they turned to August United to create new and exciting content that would appeal to a younger demographic of millennial "pet parents". August United knew that these videos needed to be more than just promotional—they needed to answer new pet parents' questions, live comfortably on PetSmart's YouTube channel for years to come, and provide engaging, fun content that would keep viewers coming back for more.

Strategy and Execution

August United worked directly with YouTube to find the top search terms for puppy training videos in order to pinpoint exactly which topics pet parents cared about the most. PetSmart and the August United team then worked together to create an informative training curriculum that would provide answers to the most searched questions new pet parents had. To help prep the series, the team partnered with Shannon Erickson, one of PetSmart's top trainers, to design a simple yet effective regimen that anyone could learn from.

August United found the perfect host to bring PetSmart's training videos to life. Through a thoughtful and strategic round of influencer identification, August United partnered with acclaimed YouTube creator, Aaron Burriss, from Lazyron Studios. Aaron was a new pet parent himself, so he brought his adorable young pug, Guppy, to authentically bring these training videos to life.

Together, PetSmart, August United, and Aaron created a series of 10 videos designed to inform and entertain while racking up millions of views. Aaron supplemented the video spots with a behind-the-scenes vlog that drove even more traffic to PetSmart's channel. He added an engaging scavenger hunt and strong call to action that helped to drive even more viewers to PetSmart's new training playlist. His fun, witty, out-of-the-box style endeared viewers instantly and the episodic nature of the videos helped to create one of PetSmart's strongest performing social tactics of 2017.


The results spoke for themselves. Over the course of the 10-video run, the new puppy training videos amassed over 2.7 million views. Aaron's behind-the-scenes vlog drove even more people to the videos with over 42,000 clicks back to the PetSmart channel. This two-tiered approach made the most of our influencer partner's reach while creating an immersive and informative experience for the audience that they could only experience by visiting PetSmart's YouTube Channel. Gartner Research even recognized the campaign in a recent study for earning significant reach in organic engagement. They found that the video had incredible organic visibility by appearing for 61% of all key pet search terms (L2 Gartner Digital IQ Index US Big Box, December 2017). In summary, the campaign combined the perfect personality, engaging storytelling, and helpful advice that new pet parents connected with.

Now, that's something to wag your tail about.


Video for PetSmart: A YouTube Refresh Worth Barking About

Entrant Company / Organization Name

August United, PetSmart, Inc.


Entry Credits