packaged goods

Purina Points Potential Owners To Doggies


Sure -- consumers looking to add a dog to their family could spend days researching different breeds at different Web sites or even (gasp!) in a book. Or they could log onto Purina's Web site and hear what the breed has to say about itself.

Just in time for the brand's sponsorship of the National Dog Show, which will be airing Thanksgiving Day on NBC (just after the Macy's Parade), Purina has added "Friend Fetcher" to its "lightly branded" Web site, -- allowing consumers to find a dog based on the amount of money they'd like to spend, exercise they are willing to provide, family member allergies and other criteria. As users consider a breed, an animated representative gives them a little more information.

"Petcentric is about the lighter side of pet ownership and we like to present things from a pet's point of view," Jill Taylor, associate brand manager of corporate, strategic, and brand marketing at Purina, tells Marketing Daily (who also called the site "lightly branded"). "We tried to have a lot of fun with it."



The breed-finder information is adapted from a similar tool on Purina's (more serious) corporate Web site, Taylor says. But Taylor, along with Purina's internal advertising department and participation marketing company OddCast, added personality to the different dog breeds (like, say, the boxer talking like Rocky Balboa or a bulldog putting on a faux-gruff personality).

"Our approach was, let's make them accessible, fun and humanize them as much as possible," Adi Sideman, CEO at OddCast, tells Marketing Daily. He says early data show that 6% of the users are following through on the recommendations to find a pet to adopt.

Purina will promote the new feature and during the National Dog Show broadcast via two television spots featuring the show's host, actor John O'Hurley. While one commercial features the actor talking about the site in general, the second commercial depicts O'Hurley looking for a new dog using the Friend Fetcher tool.

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