How US Smart Pet Collar Brands are Allocating $11M in Digital Ad Spend in 2022

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October 12, 2022
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Key Takeaways

Brands in the competitive set allocated $11M to digital ads from Q1 to Q3 2022. Here’s how:

  • By Brand: Fi made up 97.8% of the total ad spend amongst the competitive set, allocating over $11.1M in digital ads during this period. Tractive made up 1.5% of the total spend, spending $172K on digital ads. FitBark made up just 0.7% of the total spend at $75K.
  • By Quarter: Since the first quarter of 2022, Fi has drastically cut back its advertising spending — decreasing -70% from Q1 to Q2 and by -20% from Q2 to Q3. Whereas Tractive and FitBark had a decrease from Q1 to Q2, but an overall increase from Q2 to Q3. 
  • By Platform: Facebook and Instagram ads saw the highest spending of $8.8M and $2.4M respectively, followed by Search ($105K). Brands in the competitive set did not run ads on YouTube, Display or TikTok; only Tractive ran OTT ads in Q3 2022. 
  • By Ad Type: The competitive set mostly uses Facebook and Instagram ads to talk about product features (70%), followed by customer quotes (17%) and promote product promotions & sales (13%).
  • By Location: Ad spend is concentrated in California, Texas and Pennsylvania, with LA and Dallas having the greatest spend by metro. 
  • By Gender: Ads targeting males accounted for 62% of the total ad spend amongst the competitive set. 

Companies in the competitive set for this analysis included Tractive, Fi and FitBark:

From January 2022 to September 2022, companies in the competitive set decreased their digital advertising spend by -80%. January 2022 saw the highest ad spend at $3.6M and August 2022 saw the lowest ad spend at $446K.

From January to September 2022, Fi made up 97.8% of the total ad spend amongst the competitive set, allocating over $11.1M in digital ads during this period. 

Tractive made up 1.5% of the total spend, spending $172K on digital ads. FitBark made up just 0.7% of the total spend at $75K.

Since the first quarter of 2022, Fi has drastically cut back its advertising spending — decreasing -70% from Q1 to Q2 and by -20% from Q2 to Q3. While Tractive and FitBark experienced a decline in their spend from Q1 to Q2, both companies experienced an increase in spend from Q2 to Q3—Tractive increased by +286% and FitBark increased by +406% from the previous quarter.

From January 2022 to September 2022, the competitive set invested $11M into digital advertising. Facebook and Instagram ads saw the highest spending of $8.8M and $2.4M respectively, followed by Search ($105K).

Brands in the competitive set did not run ads on YouTube, Display or TikTok and only Tractive ran OTT ads in Q3 2022. 

The competitive set mostly used Facebook and Instagram ads to talk about product features (70%), followed by customer quotes (17%) and product promotions & sales (13%).

Fi allocated 79% of its spend on Facebook ($8.6M) followed by Instagram at 21% ($2.3M). Fi only allocated $87K to Paid Search, which accounted for less than 1% of its total spend. Fi focused on Facebook link ads ($6.7M) and Instagram story ads ($1.4M).  

Product Feature

Product feature ads emphasize Fi’s GPS location, activity and sleep tracking, waterproofing and durability, and battery life of the device. Fi’s campaign for its Series 2 positioned the collar as being even “smarter, faster and stronger”. 

  • Play-on-Words: Fi’s slogan “There’s a New Breed of Dog Collar” is used in product feature ads that pair photos of dogs wearing the collar with the slogan.
  • Smartest: 19% of Fi’s Facebook and Instagram ads used the phrase “smartest dog collar ever built” in the ad copy. 
  • Feature Forward: 35% of Fi’s Facebook and Instagram ads simply state the collar’s features in the ad copy, highlighting its GPS location tracking first.
  • Waterproof: Fi emphasizes the device’s ability to be waterproof by showing a dog in water with the collar visible.

Spend: $1.4M | Imp.: 173M | CPM: $8.23

Spend: $466K | Imp.: 58M | CPM: $8.08

Customer Quotes

Fi spent approximately $1.3M on ads featuring testimonial quotes from customers.

  • Peace of Mind: These ads focus on how the collar can provide customers with “peace of mind” in knowing where their dog is while off-leash.
  • Social Proof: In a world where 91% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase, customer testimonials are one of the best ways to provide social proof. Fi uses real customer testimonials in the ads and provides their Instagram handles which helps to legitimize the quotes to appear authentic.
  • Nano-influencers: The customer testimonials used in these ads are from dogfluencers (e.g., @pikes.peak.pippin) who have approximately less than 10K followers on Instagram.  

Spend: $425K | Imp.: 50M | CPM: $8.50

Spend: $529K |Imp.: 65M | CPM: $8.13

Promotions & Sales

Of the ads analyzed, Fi allocated 13% of its total spend on promo & sale ads. The top two ads in this category were for their National Mutt week promo and Cyber Sale, which ran from Feb. 24th to Mar. 1st.

  • Promos: Fi's sales usually consist of $70 or $100 promo codes, making their collars $79 or $49 USD.

Spend: $59K |Imp.: 6.9M | CPM: $8.55

Spend: $42K |Imp.: 4.8M | CPM: $8.70

Fi allocated $89K to health related ads for a canine fitness week sale. Ads focused on setting step goals and monitoring your dog's activity and sleep patterns. 

Spend: $22.6K |Imp.: 481K | CPM: $8.69

*Health ads are a subcategory of product feature, customer quotes, and promotion & sale ads

Fi allocated 11% of its advertising budget to Facebook and Instagram ads in California, specifically Los Angeles which accounted for 6% of the total spend. On Facebook, Fi’s ads target males (62%) and Android users (68%).

Data is based on Fi’s ad spend on Facebook and Instagram from 1/1/2022-01/30/2022

Tractive allocated 52% of its spend to Facebook ($80K) followed by Instagram at 26% ($41K), OTT (15%) and Paid Search (7%). Similarly to Fi, Tractive focused on Facebook link ads ($78K) and Instagram story ads ($34K).  

Product Feature

Tractive spent approximately $54K on ads that promoted product awareness and its product features.

  • Cats: Of the competitive set, Tractive is the only brand offering cat products. From Q1 to Q3 2022, 44% of Tractive’s ad spend was allocated to cat-focused ads, 40% to dog-focused ads and 15% to general pet ads.
  • Emojis: Tractive uses emojis to illustrate each feature and breaks the features up into separate lines. This helps the ad look more like an organic post and capture the viewer’s attention.
  • Worry-Free: Similar to Fi, Tractive’s product feature ads highlight the value of using a pet GPS tracker to help put your mind at ease.

Spend: $16K | Imp.: 2M | CPM: $8.07

Spend: $9.3K | Imp.: 1.2M | CPM: $7.75

Promotions & Sales

Tractive allocated $31K to promotion & sale ads, with $9K spent on a 30% off promo for Amazon Prime day (July 13th, 2022). 

  • Drive Direct Sales: Tractive capitalizes on Amazon's credibility and authority by promoting itself as a "#1 Best Seller on Amazon" and featuring the Prime Day logo in these ads. However, it does not link the ad to its Amazon storefront. Instead, it directs consumers to its website to drive direct sales.
  • Duration: Tractive ran its 30% off promo ads for two weeks from July 14th to July 28th, 2022.
  • CTA: Ads include a call-to-action button that reads “Get Now", encouraging customers to click on the ad.

Spend: $4.3K | Imp.: 581K | CPM: $7.40

Spend: $3.4K | Imp.: 454K | CPM: $7.48

In September 2022, Tractive launched an OTT campaign which ran the following two 30-second ad spots exclusively on Tubi. The campaign budget was $23K as of September 2022.

Total Spend: $23K

Share of YTD Spend: 16%

Best Practices: In both ads, the creative focuses on the peace of mind that Tractive can offer dog owners. In addition, the ads feature their Virtual Fence, LIVE GPS Mode and Activity Monitor features and have a CTA with a 25% off promo code. 

Spend: $12K | Imp.: 550K | CPM: $22

Spend: $10K | Imp.: 474K | CPM: $22

Tractive allocated 17% of its budget to Facebook and Instagram ads in California. Looking at top metros, Tractive allocated the most to Philadelphia (7%) followed by Orlando (5%). Tractive’s ads skew slightly male (52%) and to Android users (52%).

Data is based on Tractive’s ad spend on Facebook and Instagram from 1/1/2022-01/30/2022

FitBark, which had the smallest ad spend out of the competitive set, allocated 82% of its spend to Facebook ($61K) followed by Instagram at 9% ($7K) and Paid Search at 9% ($7K). FitBark’s spend was predominantly made up of Facebook link ads.

Product Feature

FitBark allocated approximately 40% of its ad spend to product feature ads.

  • Best Coverage: Of the competitive set, FitBark is the only brand that promotes its tracker for having the best coverage amongst Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile and multiple GPS constellations.
  • Average CPM: Of all the ads analyzed in the competitive set, story posts generated the lowest CPM at an average of $7.74, followed by photo posts ($7.80) and carousel posts ($7.84). 

Spend: $4K | Imp.: 541K | CPM: $7.39

Spend: $8.3K | Imp.: 1.1M | CPM: $7.54

Customer Quotes

FitBark spent approximately 60% of its ad spend budget on ads featuring testimonial quotes from customers about different concerns such as separation anxiety and tracking a dog walker. 

Spend: $11.6K | Imp.: 1.4M | CPM: $8.92

Spend: $5.3K | Imp.: 624K | CPM: $8.48

FitBark’s health ads focused on monitoring activity levels and caloric requirements, sleep, movement and vitals.

Spend: $4K | Imp.: 481K | CPM: $8.31

Spend: $4K | Imp.: 481K | CPM: $8.41

Spend: $2.8K | Imp.: 481K | CPM: $8.57

*Health ads are a subcategory of product feature, customer quotes, and promotion & sale ads

FitBark’s geo-target differs from Fi and Tractive’s, as Atlanta makes up 32% of its total Facebook and Instagram spend. Additionally, FitBark skews more male (70%) and to Android users (79%) than Fi and Tractive do.

*Ad spend includes Facebook, OTT, YouTube, Search.
Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.
*Health ads are a subcategory of product feature, customer quotes, and promotion & sale ads. 

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