With millions housebound, now might be a good time for consumers to get a pet—and brands are taking notice. On Thursday, Chewy, the online pet retailer that went public last year, debuted a new campaign that highlights the importance of pets during the COVID-19 quarantine. In a 60-second digital spot, pet owners bond over their time in isolation with their cats, dogs—and a hedgehog.
“Especially in this time when we are not together—a lot of us are practicing social distancing, we’re physically apart—we found it interesting that pets are still continuing to bring us together,” says Orlena Yeung, VP of brand marketing at Chewy. The spot is part of Chewy’s “Pets Bring Us Together” initiative, which includes a $4 million donation in pet food, partnership with the Humane Society of the U.S. and access to coronavirus tips from veterinarians.
In recent years, pet brands have seen a surge in interest as millennials practice parenting and pamper their animal companions. Pet technology startups saw $600.4 million in investments last year, according to CB Insights. Now, interest in pets and adoption is growing even more during the pandemic. Spate, a data science firm, found that interest in pets was up 16.3 percent for the period between Feb. 16 and April 12; particularly, consumers were interested in dogs and birds. Some new brands, such as cat company Cat Person, have recently launched, and AutoPet reports its litterbox subscription service has doubled during COVID-19.