Merrick Pet Care Throws Dogs More Than a Bone

Challenge

Merrick Pet Care approached Spong to lead the brand’s pet food revolution. The challenge was to raise awareness of the then-little-known pet food brand and support sales of its 11 new dog food recipes, despite a crowded, competitive category.

Idea

Through integrated public relations, digital, social and advertising efforts, the Merrick Real Food Revolution movement for nutritious, real whole food was born. The revolution came to life through “Doggupy,” a staged pooch-led protest in New York City’s Union Square Park, where dogs camped out in pup tents to demand “food worthy of a fork.”
To create a catalyst for people to participate in the revolution and engage with the brand, a “Pawtition” Facebook app was launched, allowing canines across America to “sign up” for the revolution and inviting their pet parents to post their dogs’ photos. Two tongue-in-cheek social videos helped drive excitement for the revolution and extend the Doggupy event online. Social media was also used to support and live-cover the protest. At the event, where dogs and their owners united in protest, Merrick announced a donation of 250,000 pounds of dog food to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, ensuring that even shelter dogs could receive Merrick’s real food, too.

Results

More than 242 million impressions were generated via Facebook and Twitter. Social referral traffic to the Merrick website increased more than 200 percent. Merrick increased revenues by 7.5 percent, grew profits by more than 13 percent and increased shelf space at key retailers by 4 feet.

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