How BarkBox Took an Obscure Vacation and Turned It right into a Killer Social Media Marketing campaign

The BarkBox Instagram page is taken over by squirrels

January 21 is National Squirrel Appreciation Day and there are really only two types of people who know this:

  1. Squirrel enthusiasts
  2. BarkBox pendant

Squirrel lovers love squirrels. BarkBox, on the other hand, has turned this dark vacation into a social media campaign that is impossible to talk about.

In digital marketing, it's easy to do things banal. We get used to seeing the same headline templates, the inevitable email with a 10% discount on your first order, and the message "Follow us to win our product."

It's the same stuff with a different brand.

But BarkBox has a habit of keeping things fresh. Their strategy goes against the grain and says no to their peers and yes to the "That could work or it could go totally wrong and be one of the most talked about failures of the digital marketing campaign of 2020."

Firstly, we praise their bravery.

The company sold monthly subscription boxes for dog toys and goodies, and they saw an opportunity and ran with it.

National Squirrel Day.

Thanks to BarkBox, over 2 million people have just learned that today is a day when squirrels are valued. And because of the cheerfulness of the campaign, more and more people know about BarkBox. After all, this is the most important goal for social media.

Although we wished they had broadcast the meeting live that gave the campaign the go-ahead, we will be outside to see what they are doing and how we believe they will be affected.

BarkBox is raging on social media

Well, actually we should say the squirrels are. BarkBox's social media campaign stems from the uprising of squirrels who have taken over their social media accounts.

Her Instagram account currently looks like this:

And this is her current Twitter profile:

BarkBox's Twitter account is taken over by squirrels

The prerequisite for their social campaign is that squirrels seek revenge and try to get their nuts back. Until then, they are holding BarkBox hostage.

BarkBox & # 39; s tweet asks for nuts

To help BarkBox, their followers post nut emojis in the comments on the squirrels' posts (there is a phrase we never thought we would say).

Instagram comments from BarkBox followers with the peanut emoji

Why is BarkBox running this campaign?

Quite simply: getting people to talk and promoting social engagement. Do you think we would have published this article if BarkBox had launched a campaign to get 10% off your first BarkBox by signing in with your email address here?

The answer to that is no.

We're not even turning a blind eye, let alone trying to write an article to summarize this campaign.

But a squirrel takeover campaign?

We have just rushed this post.

BarkBox not only looks at the world of digital marketing, but also its customers. A measure of the success of your campaign is the comments that go into your social media profiles – regardless of whether you are crazy.

Followers ask BarkBox: “WTF is going around here today? 😂. "

And an immeasurable but feasible measurement is the number of people who sent or said the above message to a friend who is also subscribed to BarkBox.

Just ask us how we know that.

Lots of news between the DM team about the BarkBox campaign

The starting point of all digital marketing is to get people to talk about your product. We can assume that these campaigns will help to raise awareness of BarkBox, as this is not the first time that BarkBox has launched such a campaign.

You ran the same squirrel campaign for that holiday last year, but the most viral campaign was much younger.

Two months ago they created a “Big Honkin & # 39; Pig in a Blanket” dog toy that went viral because of its… aesthetics. Note the Facebook comment in the left corner of this photo and pay attention to BarkBox's response.

BarkBox & # 39; s Big Honkin & # 39; Pigs in a Blanket Toy

It is clear that BarkBox knows how to create awareness-raising content: the first stage of the customer value journey.

If you need further help with your digital marketing efforts, you can become a DM insider for FREE and instantly access our customer avatar worksheet. This way you know how your customers would react to an unusual campaign like BarkBox.

How will BarkBox benefit from this campaign?

There are three ways BarkBox can (likely) capitalize on this campaign:

  1. Increase brand awareness
  2. Increase website traffic that can be realigned
  3. conversions

Increase brand awareness

This type of campaign gets people talking and acting, which increases awareness of the BarkBox product. For example, here is the user-created content of a BarkBox follower republished by BarkBox:

An Instagram story of a BarkBox supporter of a golden retriever on a walk with text

By posting this story, all of your followers now know about BarkBox. The math here is simple: the more people know about your business (in general), the more money your business can make.

Such user-generated content turns your customers into your sellers. Instead of paying Instagram to show a story of a target group of dog friends, this user has only done this for them for free.

BarkBox builds brand awareness by creating an exceptional campaign that gets people talking and posting.

This is step one of the customer value journey that was done right.

Increase website traffic that can be realigned

Do you know when you visit a website and suddenly you see the ads for your product everywhere? This is retargeting, and BarkBox has the tracking pixels ready for this campaign.

There is a high likelihood that people who have just become aware of BarkBox will visit their website to see what is going on with this squirrel takeover. With the help of a tracking pixel, BarkBox can then advertise these people on social platforms such as Google or Facebook.

And since they're particularly savvy, they created special advertising campaigns for this group of website visitors who deal with the takeover of squirrels. In this way, they break (again) the form of a regular digital marketing campaign and continue the conversation about this campaign.

In fact, part of the DM team has already been realigned. Did we call it? Or did we call it?

An Instagram DM between 2 DM team members with a BarkBox slogan


Remember, the more people you know about your business, the better your business will be. BarkBox has only increased the number of people who are aware of their business. This means there’s a good chance they’ll see conversions from this campaign.

Regardless of whether these conversions are happening on your website or through retargeting, it is inevitable that BarkBox will drive some customers out of this campaign.

Ultimately, this is the whole point of digital marketing. While marketers are certainly focused on building brand awareness, their goal is to guide people through the eight steps of the customer value journey so they become customers and enthusiastic fans of the business.

The Customer Value Journey worksheet

Without a doubt, we know that this article taught you something new – January 21st is National Squirrel Day. We also hope that you have learned something behind the scenes about BarkBox's marketing strategies.

If you need further help with your digital marketing efforts, you can become a DM insider for FREE and instantly access our customer avatar worksheet. This way you know how your customers would react to an unusual campaign like BarkBox.