Best Buy’s tech goes to the dogs

The retailer is proving the emotional connection its products provide by getting a pup's eye view of the world.

Best Buy is using tech to sell tech, providing dog owners a chance to connect a bit more with their beloved pets by seeing the world from their point of view.

The retailer’s creative agency Union, PR/influencer relations agency Veritas and experiential agency XMC teamed up to bring a few prominent “dog influencers” to the dog bowl in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods park. Internet-famous dogs like Dean the Basett (who was over 192,000 Instagram followers) were outfitted with 360-degree cameras, which sent a live feed into a VR headset worn by their owners nearby, letting them see the world from the same angle as their dog.

The launch video was posted on social media as part of a paid push earlier this month, with unique content from the event being posted to the influencers’ channels this week.

The execution is a follow-up to the “Best Friends” spot, which Union created for Best Buy in the fall and is currently re-airing. The TV spot showed a range of different household devices turning on to keep a dog company after its owner, a Best Buy employee, leaves for the day.

Mary Ann McKenzie, brand marketing manager at Best Buy Canada, says both are part of an effort to create more of an emotionally relevant connection between consumers and the tech it sells, beyond its functional capabilities.

“We didn’t set out to do a campaign about dogs and pets, we asked Union to help us tell a story about how tech can enhance lives,” McKenzie says of the development of “Best Friends.” “Now that it’s re-airing, we thought about how we could take this theme a little further and do something else with this tech that shows a greater connection to what you love.”

The “#DogVision” execution not only gives owners a way to “relate” with their dogs in a way only this tech can provide, but showing a first-hand account of the tech in action provides a more direct demonstration of what it can do. That helps prove out Best Buy’s position that its technology enriches the lives of its customers, which is especially important considering part of that approach has meant putting the technology in action in a slightly off-beat way.

“What we know about the key Best Buy consumer is that they’re really enthusiastic about technology,” McKenzie says. “They’re not necessarily a build your own computer type, but they are someone who likes using the latest and greatest tech and finding out how it can enhance their lives. Showing more unexpected and unusual ways tech can do that is what this is trying to get at.”