Pet Pointers: On Perfecting the Pet-Centered Satellite Media Tour

In the world of Satellite Media Tours, we often discuss the fact that there is no such thing as a “cookie cutter” tour–every opportunity presents variations arising from the individual client, the choice of talent, and in some cases the addition of an extra cast member, particularly a pet.

Adding a pet to a satellite media tour is a wonderful way to highlight a brand’s unique offerings or add an endearing element to a piece of coverage. But as all pet owners know, the addition of an animal to anything is going to require special considerations, and an SMT is no different.

This week we are happy to present Pet Pointers, the know-before-you-go keys to building a perfect pet-infused SMT:

    • You’re going to need more than one dog.  The fact of the matter here is that an SMT running between 4 and 6 hours is going to make a well-prepared person tired, which means it is certainly going to lose the interest of your star pet. Having more than one animal to switch in and out will keep your on-screen personalities excited and engaged.
      Dogs and the Satellite Media Tour
      Beyond just looking fresh on camera, it’s also important to note that in some cities and studio environments, animals will carry certain logistical constraints. If you’re going to be in a big studio all morning, make sure your pets have somewhere to use the restroom, walk around and generally be comfortable. Having two can help hugely in this area.
    • Get good B-Roll before you go. Some pets are sedentary on set, which means they aren’t going to make great cameos when you need a clever brand mention or a shot of an animal enjoying the outdoors. Be sure you have footage of animals in action, so when the time comes, you aren’t wasting that beautiful creative copy on a half-asleep housecat.
    • Celebrities like their own animals. In our experience, a celebrity spokesperson who is representing a pet product will typically want to use their own pet, which means it can pay off to be ready to go fully mobile, or at the very least be prepared to book a studio wherever that person lives. Keep in mind though, traveling to accommodate a celebrity and his or her pet is probably worth it.Celebrities and Satellite Media Tour
    • Be mindful of how things look on camera. Though this tip applies to everything you do on TV, it’s especially applicable when pets are involved because they often change positions.  Making sure that everything is framed correctly for each interview is so important, not only as it represents your client and their ultimate outcome, but because failing to realize where the animal is in your shot can hurt your credibility as well. Always pay attention to pet placement!
    • Expect the unexpected, and don’t worry when it happens. When using a pet for a tour, it isn’t a question of if something unexpected will occur.  It’s just a question of when, and exactly what form it will take. Expecting the unexpected means being prepared, but also being able to run with the punches.
      Dog Peeking Through Satellite Media Tour TV
      Even the world’s most perfectly-trained pet will go off script, and both the talent and the producers need to be prepared for that eventuality. Make sure your talent knows to engage with the anchors, and embrace the abnormal!  Done well and with a light heart, pet SMT’s can be some of the most fun to be a part of, and some of the most fun to watch–which is good news for everyone involved.

And that concludes Pet Pointers, the must-know advice designed to keep your satellite media tour running smoothly. Just remember that excellence is attainable when pets are involved, and may even be easier! But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security: take the necessary precautions to be sure your tour goes off without a hitch, helping both your brand and the pets entrusted to your care.

Want to talk more about designing a pet-centric SMT? Get in touch. We have experts in pet pointer creation who can push your content to the next level.

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