Some influencers generate more buzz than others, of course. But none do it quite as well as a “B” the bee influencer! Its sights are set on creating an environmental buzz on social media and it has been pretty successful so far. Is an animal influencer in your brand’s future? Let’s find out!
And first, a gratuitous pic of B, because there are so many amazing shots to share:
Now, about that buzz . . .
Environmental Buzz on Social Media Seems Easy, But . . .
Although sustainability and environmentalism are hot topics online, the fact that they are hot topics online makes it hard for any one particular effort to stand out.
Sure, we had a huge hubbub around Greta Thunberg and her Climate Strikes, but we also see trouble spots.
People “care about” the environment and find the conversation “interesting,” with many wanting to be/admiring the “sustainability champions” among us. But, they’re also “increasingly worried” and “a little intimidated” when it comes to taking action:
And “B” may provide the remedy to those troubles, particularly as the Net Sentiment and Passion Intensity around sustainability is consistently solid.
As you can see, “B” is no slouch in the sentiment department herself! Although she (and yes, B is a she) has just a fraction of the conversation (the relative size of the circles), and isn’t capturing nearly as much passion around her activity as the overall sustainability effort – she’s really just getting started.
Her first post was in April 2019 after all:
And it’s not only people that are paying attention – brands are as well. We’ll get to “B”’s actual sponsorships in a moment, but one that appears unintentional and fortuitously timed is McDonald’s McHive.
The Drive-through Beehive
Apparently, some of McDonald’s restaurants in Sweden have beehives on their rooftops – imagine? And to celebrate this important piece of McDonald’s Swedens sustainability work, NORD DDB created the world’s smallest McDonald’s. It’s an incredibly detailed bit of business.
So although this is not a “B” collaboration, it would make sense for there to bee one one in the works, particularly as they’re working toward the same end goal.
And what does “B” want from the world exactly? And where did they find such a photogenic bee?
To “B” or Not to Bee
“B” is the CGI (computer generated image) creation of the Fondation de France, which has created this persona and its corresponding “bee fund” to power its environmental efforts.
Why are they doing this? There are three important directives driving the effort:
And what are they raising money for? Why, to fund bee-saving efforts across the globe, of course! More precisely, “to fund the actions considered as the most fundamental and urgent in the protection of all species of bees.”
As something that’s marketed solely on Instagram, the conversation volume its capturing is impressive. And people are saying precisely what they’re hoping for too. They’re helping pollinate online with awareness of “B:”
Who is “B” working with? We’ll share a couple we’ve seen thus far, but you can be certain the list will be long. There are lots of responsible brands out there in need of some bee TLC these days!
The account only recently announced its upcoming partnerships, so it’s still early days there:
Airbnb is one brand. They’re “committed to protecting animals’ welfare, as each experience follows guidelines created with World Animal Protection.” And they’ve contributed to the BeeFund.
And then La Poste is another. It offers plantable envelopes!
“B” is following the footsteps/flight path of other animal influencers, of course.
Animals for Awareness
They may be more likely labeled brand mascots than influencers, but they are viral animal influencers out there nonetheless, and people typically love them. The difference between animal influencers from 20-30 years ago to today is incredible though – from an ROI standpoint.
Brands could pretty confidently guess back then that a cute dog would increase awareness of a brand, particularly when it became synonymous with it.
But then came CGI animals and things changed. Take Geico’s gecko, which we still see in ads:
And today we have Instagram stars whose social influence can be immediately and accurately tracked. Take JiffPom the Pomeranian, for example:
Brands can see just how truly influential the pup (or a CGI bee) is with real followers, offering real engagement using social analytics. And yes, fake engagement is a serious concern in the pet influencer world just as it is with people.
And this is crucial intel to have, as these animals (real and CGI alike) are landing lucrative deals left and right (hopefully not on follower numbers alone):
Most pet influencers aren’t solely cause-focused. Nor do they have to (nor does the brand using them need to be!) – a brand can find exceptional promotional opportunities for a variety of reasons.
Winning The Pet Influence Game
The first brand I worked with was Dyson [which makes vacuums]. I had to convince them, but it totally made sense for me because dogs shed, and we clean up after them. I had similar pitches when I went to the Body Shop and Urban Decay. These are brands that don’t test on animals, so why wouldn’t they work with pets?
Same with Ritz-Carlton, since they are pet-friendly — of course they should want pet influencers staying at their hotels in Aruba and Puerto Rico, showing followers that it’s a pet-friendly hotel chain. Now we work with brands like Sony, Coke, Ralph Lauren, Barneys, Moda Operandi, Neiman Marcus.
Though social causes – of every variety – make lots of sense too, as does being true to her persona. This really lies at the heart of her popularity and how well she resonates with online culture, across demographics.
Social Causes & Credibility
Unlike the brand ambassadors that came before her and were tied to one specific brand, “B” is not a one trick . . . bee. She’s a social cause champion who is also concerned with equal rights:
She posts yoga poses:
And she gets away from “online” with some time at the beach – and pics of her legs in the sand to prove it:
“B” is setting a new bar for animal influencers, much like we’ve done with automated theme discovery from AI Studio. Hopefully you’ve using it to help you discover new angles to pursue with your brand – animal or people related!
The age of the animal influencer is upon us. We can be certain there will be more “B”s headed our way soon. And brands should be sure they’re ready to ride the popularity wave, and potentially collaborate with these furry or flying friends.
Reach out and we’ll bee sure you’re aware of relevant influencers before they crest, so you can cruise along and capture the adorable – and viral – awareness they offer!