The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is one of the oldest sporting events in modern history. Held annually in New York City, thousands of dogs across hundreds of breeds compete for the title 'Best in Show', with tens of thousands of attendees. Millions more tune in online and on-air.
Our core objective was simple: celebrate the companionship of dogs. It was important that we stay true to Westminster's past history while evolving our strategy to reach a new younger audience.
To meet this objective, we launched an innovative year-round multi-platform social media campaign that brought the excitement and passion that is Westminster to audiences worldwide.
Our strategy in 2018 was to engage a younger audience while super-serving the core, passionate, dog-fancy community. We expanded the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show from a once a year event to a year-round cultural sensation.
Road to Westminster
Following the successful launch of Road to Westminster in 2017, we evolved the strategy to position Westminster as a relevant source of dog-news year round, educate and grow new audiences, and build momentum for Westminster Week. The series allowed audiences to follow local competitions leading up to Westminster while educating them on the sport. To effectively promote responsible dog ownership, canine health and breed preservation, we produced custom educational videos including 'Dog Show 101' and 'Best of Breed' minute. Spotlight interviews highlighted the legends in the industry, breeders, owners and handlers and their stories.
The local competitions received on-the-ground social content capture including real-time Instagram Stories, competition highlights, photo galleries, and interviews. We encouraged dog show attendees to post their own content using #RoadToWKC for a chance to be featured on the Westminster accounts. This allowed Westminster to be kept top of mind year-round for dog show lovers everywhere.
The Westminster Kennel Club is one of the oldest, mission-based organization in the world dedicated to dogs. It was critical that we highlighted this history to celebrate the companionship of dogs to all dog lovers.
#WKCArchives social content brought to life the rich history that makes up Westminster and the sport. This included sharing historic show clips and imagery of the first recognized breeds, handlers that have become renown judges, and shows considered the best in the sport's history.
Westminster Week 2018
Our Westminster Week 2018 social strategy focused on celebrating all dogs. To do so, our on-the-ground social media team worked around the clock to develop hundreds of pieces of real-time social creative content on-site from the event. This included custom GIFs, motion results cards, tune in graphics, interactive Instagram Stories, voting polls and imagery.
We strategically featured dog breeds that would draw the most recognition and engagements across social platforms. This included featuring dog breeds that are the most popular in the U.S. and that people have at home, or are really unique.
To keep audiences at home engaged, we launched the #BestAtHomeContest allowing users to share photos of their dogs across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for a chance to win tickets and airfare to Westminster Week 2019. We amplified this contest with Fox broadcast integrations and recognition from talent.
Additionally, we partnered with social platforms and influencers to attend and share their stories from Westminster Week 2018. For the third year in a row, Snapchat launched a Global Story bringing the show to younger audiences worldwide. We partnered with Giphy to create custom GIFs that populated the Westminster Giphy channel and own the dog-gifying internet. Social influencers in both the pet/animal and entertainment space attended and shared their experiences at the event successfully reaching and intriguing new audiences.
By executing a strategy for maintaining the Westminster Kennel Club social presence year-round, we were organically able to successfully grow and engage audiences across all social platforms and celebrate the companionship of dogs.