Stop gushing! (on Petfinder, in particular)

RD

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#21
Marketing is fine, but honesty is equally important. I wrote out petfinder ads for quite awhile and I know I would have felt horrible if someone adopted the wrong dog because I made them seem all happypwettyrainbows on petfinder.

It's important to be honest about the dog's issues. If the dog doesn't like other dogs, SAY it. Wanting "all the love to herself" is just sugarcoating dog aggression. I think it's perfectly fine to say that the dog needs work. People shouldn't expect to acquire a robot.

By trying to portray a dog as perfect, people are often attracting the wrong kind of "buyers". JMO.
 

Aussie Red

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#23
1) The ends don't justify the means. Marketing and emotional manipulation are how ad execs sell toothpaste and pet stores sell puppies, they're not appropriate ways to attract people to your shelter or dogs. They play into exactly what shelters and rescues are supposed to avoid - impulse buying, emotional and thoughtless choices, the kind that led to the purchase and subsquent surrender of these same animals. People thinking 'with their heart' is why I hear stories like this: the 28-year-old guy living with his frail grandmother and working 12 hours a day buys a second Rottie after having to euthanize the first for biting grammie; the 35-year-old man who travels constantly for business and has a busy wife with a career insists on buying not one but two Mastiffs; the pregnant girl who adopts a high-strung, one-person lap dog. Everyone thinks with their heart when they go to adopt a dog. The shelters and rescues aren't supposed to encourage that, they're supposed to add common sense, not burble about chocolate treats and kisses.

2) Bitter? Hard? Wow, for a bunch of warm, soft, open people, some of you really know how to talk nasty. It is possible to disagree with someone without being rude and inappropriate. bluezano managed it, for which I thank her.
And I wonder if you have gone back and reread some of your posts to us? I would prefer no rudeness as well. You have doled it out quite often.
 

Beanie

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#24
Mmm! This milk chocolate treat acts almost as delicious as she looks! It's hard to take your eyes off this beauty she appears so yummy!
I just have to say, everything else aside... that is downright disturbing. Is this an ad for a dog, or a personals ad? "Mmm?" "Milk chocolate treat?"
I am creeped the heck out.
 

Brattina88

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#25
I have never seen an add like that one ^^.
I'd like to see a link - I have the feeling someone is over exaggerating. :p
Maybe I'll be proved wrong?
 

StillandSilent

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#26
I have written many different types of bios and have found that people do tend to gravitate towards the ones that are written from the dogs point of view. That doesn't mean to sugar coat it. For example, here is Huberts:
Hi, my name is Hubert!
I am a 1 1/2 year old Pitbull mix. I may have some shepard in me, look at my huge ears. I am good with adults. I like children, but I am a little rowdy and may knock small ones down. I am an alpha male, which means like to be the boss and need to go to a home where I am the only dog, or with a submissive female dog. Absolutly no cats, I think they look tasty. I love to play fetch and will chase a ball for hours. I have no house manners, so my new owner needs to take me to an obedience class so I can learn what is expected of me.
This doesn't apply only to Petfinder. When we do adoptions at Petsmart, it is the same.
Another reason some of the ads sound the same is the volume of dogs that are going though. When you write a thousand or more ads a year, it becomes very difficult to come up with new things to say about them.
 

Buddy'sParents

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#27
I have never seen an add like that one ^^.
I'd like to see a link - I have the feeling someone is over exaggerating. :p
Maybe I'll be proved wrong?
*ding ding ding* We have a winner! Brattina you get a milk chocolate bar! But only if you like them. ;)
 

Doberluv

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#28
As to the ad writing, it's a basic tool of sales to evoke an emotional response in someone to motivate them to buy. I would classify dogs as an emotional acquisition so it's particularly important to use that tool with them, especially since virtually all of them are adult dogs, not cute little puppies.
:hail: :hail: :hail:

Exactly. I've been a real estate marketer, a sales team trainer for a large city's main newspaper and top selling producer during a particular time frame... and this quote is all true. This most certainly is about selling something. It's about the transference of valued thing. And dogs are generally valued things. Whether they're an inanimate object or a living being doesn't change that they are valued by someone. Therefore, it is all about selling. Extreme silliness isn't necessary and might turn some people off. But cuteness in the adds still gives the message while applying to the readers' inner feelings of attachment to animals. They wouldn't be looking at the adds if they didn't have that love of dogs, most likely. I haven't noticed, for the most part anything out of line. I don't read them like a book, but I have seen my share.

Of course, you need to supply accurate information, leaving out one or two points to get the phones to ring. It is not argued here that it's OK to deceive people and not disclose important information about a dog. But writing to sell something to a cold trout isn't what it's about at all. It's about appealing to human beings' senses.....as many senses as possible. And tied to the senses are emotions, which most human beings looking for a dog possess, at least ones with a heart because those without shouldn't even have a dog....shouldn't try to have a relationship with any living thing.
 
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Beanie

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#29
*ding ding ding* We have a winner! Brattina you get a milk chocolate bar! But only if you like them. ;)
MMMM! A milk chocolate treat!! Almost as delicious as it looks!! LOL


I plain don't look at Petfinder because I'm likely to find a dog I like and I can't have another one right now, so I can't say if I've seen anything like that or not personally. ;> You guys may very well be right.
I've still got the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it, LOL.
 
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#30
Look at ads for singles, cars, houses, even jobs and there must not be a loser date, lemon car, rickety house, or horrific occupation in the entire universe. We all know better than that.

Why date a divorced guy with two kids when you can date a loving father with two adorable children?

Why buy an old car that needs a lot of work when you can purchase a classic auto with a storied history?

Why buy an old house that needs renovations when you can own a historical home with an interesting layout?

Why work as an underpaid clerical person when you can have a career as a personal assistant?

Why would anyone try to adopt out a dog with problems when you can get a sweet dog that needs time and training?

It's that old adage: you get more with honey than vinegar, even if it does give you a toothache.:)
 

Melissa_W

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#32
Look at ads for singles, cars, houses, even jobs and there must not be a loser date, lemon car, rickety house, or horrific occupation in the entire universe. We all know better than that.

Why date a divorced guy with two kids when you can date a loving father with two adorable children?

Why buy an old car that needs a lot of work when you can purchase a classic auto with a storied history?

Why buy an old house that needs renovations when you can own a historical home with an interesting layout?

Why work as an underpaid clerical person when you can have a career as a personal assistant?

Why would anyone try to adopt out a dog with problems when you can get a sweet dog that needs time and training?

It's that old adage: you get more with honey than vinegar, even if it does give you a toothache.:)
:hail: Thank you! That was my point exactly!
 
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#34
It's important to be honest about the dog's issues. If the dog doesn't like other dogs, SAY it. Wanting "all the love to herself" is just sugarcoating dog aggression. I think it's perfectly fine to say that the dog needs work. People shouldn't expect to acquire a robot.
One of my favorite adoption bios was for a Great Dane named Niles. It said, "Niles wants to be your ONLY dog" accompanied by a very dignified and stern photo . . . It got the point across, lol!
 

Boemy

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#35
I can see both points of view . . . On the one hand, a shelter wants to get their dogs adopted and appealing to emotions is the most effective way to do that. Part of it is getting people to look at a dog as an individual with feelings instead of just a "thing" like a vacuum cleaner. On the other hand, yes, some ads work so hard to hype up the positive that they gloss over the negative, and that's not acceptable. Problems like dog aggression, high prey drive, snappishness towards strangers, etc, should always be stated flat out.

I don't mind cuteness, though, as long as the facts are presented.

This ad is fine:

Hello, my name is Iris and I am such a beautiful girl, and so very well mannered. You won't even notice this, but I only have three legs! Yep, I lost my rear leg in a skydiving accident. Oh, I'm just kidding. I don't take things too seriously, and I get around just fine without that leg. I am housebroken and good with kids other dogs. I don't do well with cats or other small animals, though. I know sit, stay and lay down and my favorite game is tug-o-war. I am active, friendly and playful, and fun, fun, fun!
This one is even better:

Mary is a three year old Labrador Retriever mix. She is a very sweet girl who just loves people. She is easy to handle and is gentle, calm and relaxed around her human friends. Mary already knows how to sit on command and she does like other dogs but she prefers them to be submissive as she wants to be the boss. Mary is a mature dog and does like people very much. She will make a great companion for that special person. She likes to go for rides and for walks but also would love to be a couch potato. Mary does love to talk to her human friends and would also like some space to roam as well. She is a fabulous dog that is just looking for that special someone, is that you? She sure hopes so.... Mary is a member of the Lonely Hearts Club and her adoption fee is only $32.50. She has also been micro chipped.
 

PWCorgi

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#36
You won't even notice this, but I only have three legs! Yep, I lost my rear leg in a skydiving accident. Oh, I'm just kidding. I don't take things too seriously, and I get around just fine without that leg.
ROFL :D I love it!
 

Aussie Red

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#37
The thing is it is all designed to get you to come to the shelter in the first place. If you did not see ads how many would actually go ?? Once you are there to look at the animal they advertised you may find that is not the exact one for you and look around and wow there is your heart dog just waiting for you. Lighten up on the ads folks it is working and dogs are getting homes. If mooshey sqooshy gets you down there where is that wrong. And dah ask questions before committing I am sure they are truthful about that. I personally applaud them for doing what ever it takes to get people to come in and at least look before supporting yet another byb.
 

Herschel

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#38
I'm not gushy at all and I also get a little bit repulsed by the "lolzzzz" Petfinder listings.

However, I really appreciate well written listings from the dogs point of view. ToscasMom writes posts like that from time to time and, if written correctly, I think its a great way to convey the observed nature of the dog.
 

wookie130

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#39
I guess I've never given this ad thing a thought, one way or another.

So apparently the cutesy ads don't bug me too much.

I've always just looked at it as a way to reel people in and spark some interest, and if the people actually go to visit the animal in person, they can get the real scoop from the shelter staff from a more accurate standpoint.

With what the rescues and shelters deal with on a daily basis, I'd try the cutesy thing too, if it worked...

I don't see what the deal is here. If you don't like an ad, but like the looks of a dog, just go to the freakin' shelter, and get the real low-down. :p
 
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#40

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