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Brand of the Week: Bark & Co.

September 22 2017 by Jordan Kramer
Can’t leave the pet store without a bag (or five) full of items you didn’t even go shopping for? You’re not the only one. Sales for the pet industry last year topped $66B, growing ten percent from 2015. It’s no wonder why large corporations like Nestle and Mars, Incorporated decided to get into the business of selling items for your precious pets.
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With consumers spending more on pets than ever before, the industry is expected to reach $96B by 2020. So, how are pet brands advertising online to reach this coveted, high-spending demographic? Here’s a look at how Bark & Co., maker of the BarkBox subscription service, is spending across digital. To download their entire ad strategy, download the latest Brand of the Week report here.

The Subscription Service for Dog Parents

Founded in 2011, Bark & Co. is known for its flagship product, BarkBox, that works as a subscription service for dog owners to spoil their pooches. Every month, new goodies arrive for your beloved pet to enjoy ranging from tasty treats to toys that will inevitably get torn apart in minutes.
Since the launch of BarkBox, Bark & Co. has launched other sub-brands including a newsletter service (BarkPost), a custom pet goods brand (BarkShop), in addition to an events company (BarkLive). The New York based company recently added a new CMO to their team, and secured a partnership with Target allowing them to expand BarkShop items to their brick-and-mortar locations.

Video Spend on the Rise

YTD, Bark & Co. has spent nearly $900K on digital advertising focusing on desktop display, mobile display, and desktop video placements. The majority of their budget has gone to display campaigns which spiked in June promoting the BarkBox brand. 
In August, the pet company started adding video to their strategy, so much so that the device type now consumes two thirds of their digital budget. We all know how many hilariously cute dog videos we come across on social channels daily, so it makes sense for a brand targeting pet lovers to invest in video.


While spend has decreased slightly YOY, Bark & Co. is spreading out their dollars away from the holiday season to span the entire year. We can expect them to continue ramping back up as gifting season begins.

Congratulations, You’re a Dog Person

All a dog lover needs is a wagging tail and a cute golden retriever to make them break out their wallet to buy some super cute toys for their own four-legged companion. At least, that is the reaction Bark & Co. is hoping for.
The top video creative for the brand over the last thirty days promotes BarkBox and was launched on August 22nd. The fifteen second video is still currently running on YouTube, targeting top channels For Sale By Owner, Epic Wildlife, and Grace Helbig. The ad points consumers to their YouTube page in order to grow their media following.

Barking Up the Right Tree

Going up against heavy hitters, the relatively young company is the current fifth top ad spender in the Pets category outspending the likes of PetSmart, Mars Petcare, and Blue Buffalo, amongst others. 
During the same timeframe last year, Bark & Co. was barely making the top fifty in the category by ad spend. With a fresh $60M round of investment in the bank, it’s apparent that the company is doubling down on marketing while trying to increase market share. It will be interesting to see how their spend increases during the holiday season to continue keeping a competitive edge.

See Bark & Co.'s Full Digital Advertising Strategy [Free Report] 

To see exactly how Bark & Co. has been spending their digital budget over the last thirty days, including top sites and programmatic spend, download the latest Brand of the Week report.

Download Bark & Co.'s Digital Ad Strategy

About Author
Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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