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Happy Hug-a-Days! HomeAgain Brings the Holiday Cuddle to Facebook

We are a little over halfway into a holiday-themed Facebook photo contest that we created for our pet microchipping client, HomeAgain. The results to date are very encouraging—impressions, entries, likes, etc., are all way over-performing. But this blog is not about numbers adding up, though it is about sharing a story of success, even before the end of it. Now before you hang up, out of a pending feeling of self-promotion disgust, let me fill you in quickly why we are sharing this story now and hopefully convince you to hang long enough to feel the hugs.

It’s a true story of the holidays. Not a commercial story, not a BOGO story, not even a 60% savings story, but a brand essence story that is all about this time of year. You see, if we waited to tell this story after the New Year, the season to tell you about love, devotion, and great hugs would seem so yesterday. So now is the time, before all the data has been collected, parsed, and analyzed—and clearly, even before our client would ever allow us to share anything.

HomeAgain is a special brand, as it really does special stuff, like helping about 10,000 lost pets a month return home. They aren’t called HomeAgain for nothing.  So how do they get 10,000 families every month to thank their lucky stars and willingly shout out about that feeling of thankfulness?  Through two very important things they do: 1. permanently identifying a pet and linking it to its pet parents through a small piece of technology called a microchip, and 2. providing and enrolling pet parents in an annual service filled with pet protection and recovery benefits.

This year, for the holidays, HomeAgain decided to do something different to spread the cheer. And with our help, they created a sweepstakes campaign on Facebook that celebrates pet/pet parent love and devotion.  Happy Hug-a-Days asks people to enter a holiday “hugshot” of themselves and their pet engaged in a heartwarming, day-lifting, and life-affirming hug. The results have been far greater then we initially hoped for, as we work a transparent social media platform to achieve its most natural end—to create and share joy. Having a client that’s ready and eager to take these new media “risks” is the great catalyst for innovation. We aspire to inspire and, quite literally, live for these opportunities. So thank you, HomeAgain, for being so damn huggable!

My desire to do this blog has nothing to do with sucking up to our client, though I do run the risk, but I have been guilty of worse.  It has all to do with what we, at Flightpath (and many other digital shops), love most: getting deep into the human reality of today’s social and digital landscape. Consider HomeAgain, who may have started in the technology business, but that business clearly became way more and about the human-animal relationship, than simply the product they sold. Same with us programming, production, and digital marketing “creative types.” We all started somewhere else in the business, but have mostly all come back to the human-most side of why we do what we do.

So here we are, at the one time of year when hugging co-workers and pals is not only allowed, but expected, maybe even celebrated with a chest bump or low five.  It’s the holidays, and if you’re in the pet protection business or the digital agency “human protection” business, then this is our time of year! And psst, if you have a furbaby, be sure to enter the Happy Hug-a-Days contest on Facebook today. The world always has room for another good hug.