Thursday, 24 December 2015

2008 Pets and people: Companions in commerce?

Volume 61, Issue 5, May 2008, Pages 546–552
Animal Companions, Consumption Experiences, and the Marketing of Pets: Transcending Boundaries in the Animal-Human Distinction


This essay presents a personalized account that reflects some well-documented aspects of pets as animal companions — especially as they relate to the case of Rocky the Cat. The narrative begins with some oft-mentioned ramifications of viewing pets as friends and family. The common ingredient — namely, love — opens doors to various market-related opportunities. Among these, the exorbitant sums spent on veterinary care loom large and, in an illustrative personal story of Rocky Raccoon, reach nearly epic proportions. In practical terms, this report suggests some tips for marketing to lovers of pets. On a more spiritual level, further questions concern the author's own animal-related identity and how this self-concept manifests itself in an attempt to see the world in general and to view a film in particular through the eyes of the cat.


  • Rocky the Cat;
  • Pets;
  • Animal companions
The author gratefully acknowledges the support of the Columbia Business School's Faculty Research Fund.

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