'Marley & Me': Online Advertising Done Right

Takeover of Daily Puppy Site Shows Consumers Will Gladly Accept the Right Ads

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The DVD release of "Marley & Me" has seen some pretty aggressive TV marketing for the movie about "the world's worst dog." I don't know that it'll move sales of the DVD, but who doesn't like seeing cute yellow labs frolicking about and destroying (someone else's) property? (Hell, even Cottonelle toilet paper knows the branding power of a yellow lab.) I'll also be curious to see if there are any attempts at returning the DVD once families who haven't read the book or seen the movie previously settle down in front of what's pitched as a family comedy and discover that a) the ratio of people to puppies is entirely too people-heavy and b) SPOILER ALERT: Marley dies in a wrenching scene that combines all the tear power of "Old Yeller" and "The Yearling" with the child-traumatizing potential of the opening scenes of "Bambi."

One thing 20th Century Fox has done right, however, is the takeover of one of my favorite sites, The Daily Puppy (hey, sue me. I like starting off my day looking at cute puppies. I'm also a fan of Cute Overload and I Can Has Cheezburger). Daily Puppy, as the name implies, features one puppy every day. Today's puppy is a yellow lab named Marley. For a moment, I thought it was coincidence or tribute. Then I noticed the movie Marley running across my screen. Then the ads across the tops and sides of the site.

Then I noticed the blurb about the puppy. This is typically where the owner gushes about the new addition to the family. The writing here is probably a little too clean to be confused with the average entry on the site, and the final lines give the game away, making it clear that it's a marketing effort for the DVD. But do Daily Puppy readers mind? Of course not. So far, Marley isn't pulling a full 11 biscuits on the site's cute scale, but 10 1/2 is nothing to sneeze at (OK, OK, most pups don't score any lower than a 10). More than 1,700 people have voted so far. And, well, just read the comments. Here's one of the 50-plus comments: "Marley(RIP)!!! Good to see you on Daily Puppy!!! How i enjoyed your biography... I laughed and cried through it! Will def buy the movie. God bless you always. You happen to be one of my fav breeds :)"

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