Rebbekah White with one of her cats, Kylie

All weekend I have been thinking about what I am getting ready to write here. I am a huge animal lover, in fact I want to one day tear down my old, falling down barn and rebuild a nice new one. The new barn would include a nice cat sanctuary with cat holes where they can come in and out, that leads out to a huge fenced in area that they can come and go as they please, to have a whole section be set up as a cat “playground”, and hire a local veterinarian to come once a month to check on all the cats, and to take care of the ones that we find who are sick or hurt. My house sits on 3 1/2 acres of land, surrounded by a park and semi-country, so cats show up all the time looking for shelter and food. I can’t help but feed those that show up at my door. Anyway, right now I am sure you are asking this “Why am I talking about animals in a marketing techniques post?”.

Since I am a big animal protection advocate, and I do watch a lot of shows on Animal Planet, those of you who watch Animal Planet will be very familiar with the Sarah McLachlan commercial that is run almost hourly on weekends. I wanted to touch base on this type of marketing.

I love Sarah McLachlan’s music, and I love animals. However, it pains me so much to see the cruelty that happens to animals, and I want to help all of them. I cannot, yet. Right now I already take care of 18 adults cats, and and a dog. Before you write to me about getting my cats spayed or neutered, we do when we can get them to trust us enough to catch them but alas this post is not about me and my cats so to speak, and I got off topic. Back to the question that has been “haunting” me all weekend. No matter what cause you support, can some marketing techniques hurt you and your business?


I used to love “In the Arms of Angels” by Sarah McLachlan, however since the ASPCA commercial I have a very hard time even listening to that song anymore, let alone listen to any of her other music without first remembering the commercial. Which I am sure is what was intended however, can this hurt Sarah personally in music sales? Or do you think it helps?

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“In the Arms of Angels” is the perfect song to grab your attention as you watch the photos and videos of the animals that the ASPCA show in order to tear at your heart strings, to help donate to their cause, which is again their intention.

So I guess my question is this, do you believe that some marketing techniques hurt your business? If you support a cause, and eventually you become well known for being an advocate for that cause could it eventually hurt you?

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with supporting causes, I support many different causes, but can certain techniques instead of showing your support for a cause, really turn out to be bad marketing move? Or because it is for a worthwhile cause it won’t bother your business?

I would like to ask you to watch the video, and please take the poll below on what you felt while watching the video….I know for me every time I hear “In the Arms of Angels” I think of the ASPCA which was the intention, however for me not only does it remind me of the ASPCA, it flashes photos in my mind of animals who have been treated cruelly, whenever I see Sarah on a TV show, or watch her music videos I see those same photos…it brings in to me a sense of sadness, a desperation to save every animal, and anger for the way some people mistreat animals. I do understand that was the intention of the video, however do you feel this can hurt Sarah and her own music? The other question does watching this video so many times, eventually desensitize you to the situation, and make you turn the channel? If that is the case, isn’t that defeating the whole purpose of the video?



For me it feels like a catch 22. Sarah is doing what I would do if I was famous, and well known. Support a cause near and dear to my heart. I applaud her for all of her efforts to help out the ASPCA, however like I stated above now whenever I see her, or hear her music I feel sadness, and see those images flashing through my brain, and my heart tearing apart. I cry every time that video commercial is shown, ask my kids, they actually run and change the TV channel because I will sit on my bed weeping….it doesn’t matter how many times I have seen it.

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Before you take the poll below, or post an answer in the leave a comment box, I want you to watch the video several times. Feel the emotions as they come across you, really feel them. What are your first thoughts, the first time you watch the video? Then I want you to watch it again, now what are your thoughts. Then watch it a third time, how do you feel now?

Once you have done this, please answer the poll. No emails will be sent to you with spam etc. This question has been nagging at me all weekend, and I wanted to hear what others thought.

Reminder, please watch the video a couple times before answering the poll.



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For more information on how you can help protect animals please visit the ASPCA website.