PetSmart Wants Your Pup-Pleasing Travel Plans

PetSmart is encouraging customers to get moving this summer with a contest promoting a new Arcadia Trail collection of outdoor adventure gear.

Entries are already pouring in, and the retailer hopes its plea for pet adventure stories will top records set by previous campaigns, including auditions for a Chief Toy Tester launched earlier this year.

"Plenty of us have bucket lists for travel, and there's nothing better than taking your pet on an amazing hike," says Rob Litt, vice president of corporate communications. (He's fond of taking his English Cream Golden Retriever on jaunts to the Grand Canyon.)

"Pet parents truly do want to do anything for pets, and that includes incorporating them into family vacations."

The Phoenix-based company's research reveals that 61% of pet parents say bringing dogs along on summer outdoor activities is important.



Ten pet parents will win a road-trip vacation and 100,000 Treats Rewards points.

Winners get to customize their trips, which include three nights' hotel accommodations, some pet-centered activities, and plenty of Arcadia Trail Gear, with an average value of $5,000.

The collection includes items like an inflatable dog raft, a pet wagon and a quick-drying harness.

Litt tells Marketing Daily the company is promoting the contest through its loyalty program, which includes 62 million members. PetSmart is using a variety of social-media messages to drive entrants to the contest microsite.

One goal is to boost web traffic and engagement, generating as many entries as possible. More than 5,000 customers have already entered. (The Chief Toy Tester contest drew some 22,000 nominations.) 

Litt says he wouldn't mind if the latest contest helps generate sales of the new adventure line. But he says the primary aim to simply to reinforce the chain's "We do anything for pets" brand promise. "People do want to be heroes to their pets," he says. "And giving pet parents the travel experience of a lifetime will be fun."

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