Purina Aims at Sporting Dog Set

Colle + McVoy studied brands directed at athletes to help create a campaign targeting owners of competitive dogs for the Enthusiast Marketing Group of Nestlé Purina’s Purina breeder division.

“We looked at other brands that talked to athletes and we tried to get into that mind-set more,” said Annette Bertelsen, a creative director at the Minneapolis shop. “What’s different is the focus on the attitudes of champions.”

Rather than taking the division’s traditional testimonial approach, the print campaign aims for a more emotional connection, depicting the time and effort dogs and handlers spend training for competition. The effort implies such hard work should not be wasted with poor nutrition.

“These audiences are familiar with the role that nutrition plays [in competition],” Bertelsen said. “That allowed us to take an authentic approach.”

One execution shows a handler and his dogs preparing for a pre-dawn training session beneath the headline, “Champions know winning is a lifestyle decision.” Another ad shows a pointer running with the headline, “Champions take the path of most resistance.”

The ads carry the long-running “Chosen by champions” tagline and showcase all of the company’s brands, from Dog Chow to O.N.E. The work will run in fall issues of dog-enthusiast and sporting magazines.

Campaign spending for the En-thusiast Marketing Group was not disclosed. Colle + McVoy has handled the estimated $3 million Purina breeder division since last year.