A Shaggy Dog Story

This just in from Danny Kraus, communications guru at San Francisco experiential-marketing and PR shop Grow Marketing: A recent conference call with client Jamba Juice was interrupted when panic struck on the other end of the line. Rosa Compean, a Jamba employee, had learned her 8-month-old black lab puppy had been stolen! Worse, it had all the makings of a caper. The pooch and 10 canine friends were in a dog walker’s light-blue Previa van when it was swiped from the Fillmore.

The folks at Grow sprung into action, whipping out their fat Rolodex of local fluff-news reporters and achieving the sort of Pavlovian response usually reserved for such serious stories as fog warnings: Five TV channels and four radio stations put out an APB, and ravenous news crews descended upon the scene of the crime within 15 minutes to interview the distraught dog walker and weepy owners holding pictures of their pilfered pets. Five hours later, cops found the abandoned van, and the news crews followed the owners to the heart of the Tenderloin for tearful reunions and a 6 o’clock news blitz. “All the dogs were unharmed,” reports Kraus, “except that, by then, they really needed a walk.”

A week later, the San Francisco Business Journal ran the full-page ad shown here, suggested and executed by Jamba Juice’s creative agency, Publicis & Hal Riney, recounting the doggy tale and thanking Grow for its efforts.