Every once in a while you run into a marketing campaign that’s so beautiful, so perfect, you have to stop what you’re doing and clap. Or stare. Or stare and then clap and try not to explode from the sheer adorableness of it all. If you think I’m talking about Coca-cola’s social media dog collar, you’re dead wrong. Although it has to do with a dog, it hits a little closer to home. Since December of 2013, W.C. Smith’s 2M Street has brought in a puppy to help promote the apartment community’s pet-friendly culture and amenities.
“I spent a lot of time on site during our lease up at Aria on L Street, and one day there just happened to be a puppy walking by the office,” explained Holli Beckman, Vice President of Marketing at W.C. Smith. “Basically everyone in the lobby ran outside to go pet, talk to, and meet the puppy. It showed how puppies will stop anyone in their tracks and make people feel this certain way. I just thought ‘well, we need to get a puppy for the office!’”
If there’s one subject that will universally bring people together, it’s puppies. And the 2M pup—a miniature English bulldog named Emmy—is so adorable it hurts. She’s the perfect pup to get people’s attention. Holli was quite careful in her choice of dog as well; as a miniature, Emmy will retain her puppy-like appearance. But the dog is more than just arm candy around the leasing office. Emmy has her own Instagram account and her own introductory post on the 2M Street website. Though she doesn’t have her own Facebook page, Holli says that leasing agents and members of the marketing team often post pictures of Emmy and often those pictures become the most ‘liked’ pictures of the week.
Word is spreading like a drop of food coloring in water, quickly and gracefully, and the results are eye-catching. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is enamored with Emmy. “We’ve begun some pre-leasing for the building and when prospects come to the corporate office, they ask to see her,” said Beckman. “The other day we actually had her in the conference room while someone was completing documentation. And Emmy was sitting at the head of the conference table, which was kind of ridiculous but it was really cute.”
According to Beckman, though W.C. Smith occupies just one level of a ten-story tower in DC, everyone there knows Emmy and talks to her on the elevator. Even the guys at Property Services, a division of W.C. Smith, have taken quite a liking to Emmy—first making offhand jokes about building a mini-model of 2M for a doghouse, and then actually getting together in a volunteer effort to make it a reality.
The campaign is simple yet terribly clever. Already, after only having Emmy for a few short months, the 2M Street pup has garnered more attention than expected and brought added visibility for the property as a new construction. This kind of move really makes a guy wonder: what other simple life facts like ‘everyone loves puppies’ could be used to a marketer’s advantage? Kittens? A free pie bar for those rough days? Taco Tuesdays? Well, maybe it’s one of those things that simply has to strike you in the moment. In the meantime, you can all join me in awwwwww-ing at pictures of Emmy on her Instagram account.