Using illustrations to stand out in an adorable field

We can all agree that puppies are the cutest. Their floppy ears, their rambunctious energy, their inability to control their lil’ paws. It’s no wonder they’ve stolen the collective hearts of the internet. But actually raising one at home, and being a responsible dog owner, isn’t as easy as tapping ‘like.’

To give dog-lovers everywhere a peek into the good, the bad, and the sometimes unexpected journey of raising a puppy (while also getting more people excited about purebred dogs, dog training, and sports), we helped the American Kennel Club (AKC) use their already popular social media presence to launch Puppy Pack, a content series that followed the lives of 8 dogs from birth through their first birthdays.


The Outcome

These cute puppies have found fame and success on the internet – with just 105 posts, they’ve reached 4,569,100+ people with just shy of 400,000 likes and 3,215 comments on their cuteness (and stunning personalities). Bonus: their average engagement rate is higher than other AKC posts, coming in at 1.27%.

The Challenge

You’d think that dogs + social = easy peasy. But we actually had two significant challenges to tackle. First, how would we position the content in a way that was entertaining enough to follow, but educational enough to make an impact? It would take a very special voice (or voices, as it turned out) to tread the line of not sounding preachy or condescending.

Second, while Puppy Pack would have a story, and a following, all its own, how could we make it stand out in a social feed that’s already ENTIRELY dog photos and videos.


While we know that cute faces get tons of likes, our goal wasn’t just a quick thumb tap, but longer-term engagement and education.  But we also realized that even AKC’s most relatable brand voice might still miss the mark with an entirely new audience. We believed that people would receive the information better if everything was viewed through the perspective of the puppies themselves. Not only would it be educational, but it would also add another level of personality, and followers would directly see how the advice could help their own dogs live their best, most awesome lives.

To give each pup a unique and accurate voice, we worked together with the AKC and interviewed each of the dogs’ breeders or owners. We asked them a wide range of questions— from behaviors and characteristics specific to each breed, to the history of the litter, and the specific traits of each individual pup. Bases on these interviews, we crafted the first-person voices and archetypes that each dog would use in its Puppy Pack social posts.

The illustrations included the pup’s name, characteristics, and general archetype to give the AKC’s audience an idea of what each of the puppies’ personalities had in store, and were used to launch and promote the Puppy Pack series with dog-lovers everywhere.

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