Top Five #Fluff-fluencers of the Internet
In January 2016, a lavish wedding ceremony took place at The High Line Hotel in New York City. The bride walked down the aisle in a custom-made Marchesa gown and a $139,000 platinum-and-diamond necklace from London Jewellers; the groom wore a tuxedo and top hat. Various publications, such as Newsweek, People, and Town & Country, wrote about the wedding, calling it the Wedding of the Year. There was nothing out of the ordinary, except for the fact that the newlyweds were dogs called Toast and Finn Hearst. Their marriage was a charity fundraiser and promotional stunt for Zola, a wedding registry website. At the time, the pair had amassed over 350,000 Instagram followers between them.
Animal influencers, or petfluencers, are undeniably on the rise. Many have amassed large followings on social media and collaborate with international brands. Pet influencers can do everything that human influencers do, making millions for their owners. One of the biggest advantages of utilising animal influencer marketing is that people don’t notice they are being advertised to – or don’t care – because they see a cuddly, adorable creature. Furthermore, animals can outperform human influencers in terms of engagement and sentiment, connecting with people of all ages and genders. It’s believed that pet bloggers with a few hundred thousand followers are making more than $3,000 to $5,000 per post, while those with millions of followers can earn up to $15,000 for just one post. Forget Grumpy Cat; here are our top five favourite pooches and felines on Instagram.
Dubbed ‘the prettiest feline on Instagram’, Smoothie rose to fame in 2016. This super cute British Longhair resides in the Netherlands with her owner Arvid and kitty brother Milkshake. One of the world’s most photogenic cats, she has garnered over 1.4 million loyal Instagram followers. Apart from being featured in a plethora of publications and releasing her own merchandise collections, she also has her own iOS app, which gives fans exclusive access to all things Smoothie’. Smoothie’s Instagram bio denotes that she is the Queen of Fluff and it’s hard not to agree that she is literally purr-fect.
JiffPom is the Pomeranian who, with nearly 9 million followers, topped Instagram’s list of most-followed pets in 2017. From Los Angeles, California, he has partnered with the likes of Amazon and The Sims, and starred in the video for Katy Perry’s Dark Horse. This talented dog also has his own website, where his cuteness-obsessed fans can purchase branded T-shirts and phone cases. By the way, JiffPom can boast about being a three-time Guinness World Record holder: as well as the record for being the most-followed pet on Instagram, he’s also the fastest dog on two paws and practises running on his front and hind legs daily!
Since being abandoned at a farmer’s market near San Diego, California, Tuna has become one of the most famous dogs on Instagram, with over 1.9 million followers. Tuna, a Chihuahua-Dachshund crossbreed, has a prominent overbite with tiny teeth sticking out at all angles and wrinkly skin. He has been described by some as the world's ugliest dog. He’s partnered with brands like The Body Shop and Bissell, and his celebrity fans include Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Georgia May Jagger. Tuna might not be conventionally beautiful, but it’s difficult not to give in to his charm.
Born with genetic anomalies – including dwarfism, a jaw deformity and a tongue that always hangs outside her month – Lil Bub is considered a perma-kitten, meaning she will stay the size of a kitten for her whole life. From Bloomington, Indiana, this feline is an internet sensation havings amassed over 1.8 million followers on Instagram. A published author, a movie star and a philanthropist, Lil Bub has raised more than $500,000 for animal charities. She used to host her own web talk show, Lil Bub’s Big Show, where she purred and chatted to her guests who appeared on a tiny TV screen as if summoned by magic; among these were Whoopi Goldberg, Michelle Obama and 2012 Air Guitar World Champion Justin ‘Nordic Thunder’ Howard.
Bodhi the Shiba Inu has fame most Influencers dream of and the lifestyle of a diva. He’s always impeccably dressed – sporting $7,000 suits and $3,000 sport coats – and he’s known as the world’s most stylish dog. He’s appeared in ad campaigns for the likes of Casper, Article and Subaru and has been featured in a wide range of magazines and newspapers -- including a full-page spread in The New York Times. Dressing up the pooch was an idea born out of boredom by his owners, New York-based Yena Kim and David Fung, but today Bodhi reportedly makes more than $15,000 per month.