Vibe Israel promotional poster for dog vacation contest.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Is Fido on Facebook? Does Spot have Snapchat? How many likes does Lola get on Instagram? If your dog is a social-media star, then Vibe Israel is looking for you – for an all-expenses- paid five-day trip to the Holy Land for you and your fourlegged best friend.
The company has been running trips for online influencers in a variety of fields since 2011 – and just recently passed 30 trips overall. In exchange for the free vacation, Vibe expects the bloggers and social-media stars to post and write about their experiences in Israel.
But this time, Vibe wants the online buzz to start before the participants even arrive. To that end it launched its #doggyvacay campaign last week, urging those who want to come on the trip to apply for the chance by posting online.
Vibe has opened up the contest, and reached out to some prominent canine voices online, whose posts have already proven popular. Remix the Dog, a pup with more than 120,000 Instagram followers, posted about the contest on Wednesday, and got close to 2,000 likes.
Winston and his owner Rosie, who has more than 22,000 followers, also got almost 2,000 likes for their entry photo.
“We wanted to do something that will be exciting, especially for millennials, and to get them to want to share it onward to go viral,” said Joanna Landau, the CEO of Vibe Israel. What’s “disruptive,” about the campaign, she said, is that “we’re not talking to the dog owners, we’re talking to the dogs. ‘Your owner is so great to you all year... now’s the time to pay him back,’ that kind of thing.”
The company is encouraging pups to “tell your human to post a photo of you on social media, wearing sunglasses.” In addition to posting the photo, owners have to fill out a submission form, and wait to hear if they and their dog won a spot.
Submissions end on September 12, the winners are announced on September 15 and the trip is scheduled to take place October 22-26.
The privately-funded NGO dreamed up the concept with the Gefen Team, an innovation agency, to create a campaign which “builds upon everything we have developed over the years.” Having social media be part of the application process, Landau, explained, will reach even wider audiences with a message about Israel and what is has to offer.
Like with every trip it runs – from foodies to photographers, mommy bloggers, fitness fanatics, travel enthusiasts and more – Vibe will carefully select the five participants. It is looking for the social-media reach of each applicant, the quality of their writing and the overall package of dog and owner.
And once the five dogs – and humans – are selected, Vibe has its work cut out for it.
“It’s a challenge but we’re an organization that likes challenges,” said Landau. “That’s what’s going to make it so special.”
From arranging all the right vaccinations and forms to ensure smooth entry, to finding hotels that allow dogs, restaurants that are pup-friendly, an on-hand veterinarian and dog sitters for nights on the town, this trip “logistically is a much more complicated concept to produce,” said Landau. Vibe also had to limit entrants to only dogs weighing less than 9 kg., for flight and travel issues.
While every Vibe trip is a little different depending on the audience, this one will be designed around both the twolegged and four-legged participants.
“We’re not going to get lectures about the situation with Hezbollah, we’re not taking them to Yad Vashem,” said Landau.
“It’s very much about giving these people a great experience so that they’ll want to share it – it’s about trying to understand what they’re interested in and trying to meet them where they’re at.”