I have heard of animal lovers bringing their pets to work or leaving work to be with their pets, but Paul Hayes has taken this one step further to incorporate his pug; Batman, into his own career by launching Batman into the Insta-celebrity spotlight.
One boring tube ride home I met Batman the Pug, the Instagram sensation. This chance encounter gave interesting insight into a fascinating and lucrative side career featuring your pet. But Batman is more than just a cute face, with entrepreneurial aspirations, his own app and an army of loyal fans I sat down to speak with him to discover how he has found success.
Paul Hayes created the Instagram account for Batman after he spammed his followers with pictures of the dog. “I don’t really use social media myself” so it made sense to create his own pages. Plus, it’s great fun writing comments and messages from his perspective”. As a big comic book fan, Paul has always wanted to name his pug Batman and the fans seem to agree that the name fits as Batman receives Batman inspired gifts. When I meet him he is posing in his Batman harness with matching lead. Paul also gets fan art; “I absolutely love the fan art he gets sent. I find it amazing that people take the time to draw our little Batman and then send us their work. We always put it up in the house and tell people about it on social media. I think Batman likes all the treats he gets sent though… if it’s food, it’s his favourite.”
Apart from being an Instagram model, Batman has begun to rival his fellow Instagram star Kim Kardashian, by creating his own app. “It’s called The Pugmoji Sticker Keyboard. It allows people to send cute little pug inspired emoji stickers across all messaging apps. I was inspired by wanting to send more emotive stickers than current emojis allowed for, something that reflected my personality a bit more. So we made the app. It turned out a lot of other people felt the same and within a few hours it was number one in the app store! It is so popular, Apple actually asked us to make an exclusive iPugmoji version for the launch of iOS 10 and the iPhone 7. Something I’m really proud of ”.
After his success online, I can’t help but wonder what is in store for this celeb dog, after less than a year he has had social media success and his own app. Paul however, has some idea; “To be honest, I’m not sure. We are making some pug related games for mobiles. That’s going to be really exciting! People always ask for Batpug themed t-shirts, calendars and general merchandise, so I reckon that will happen soon. I’ve been blown away by the following he’s built on social media, I’m so thankful to his social following, which is around 200,000 now across Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. The support he gets is just amazing from all around the world – I love reading all his fans comments and seeing their own pug pictures. I just hope we can keep entertaining everyone.”
So you heard it here first! Watch this space and move over Lassie, Batman is taking centre stage, first on our phones and next on our Tvs.