Petsmart Fetches Animal Planet Licensing Deal

Animal Planet is trying to make the licensing leap from media authority to trusted pet brand with an exclusive pet product retail program at Petsmart stores. The Discovery Communications network will launch a fully integrated marketing campaign to support the program with Petsmart and licensee Jakks Pacific, which will consist of about 50 SKUs.
Licensing agency The Joester Loria Group, New York, developed the deal, which will relay the fun and playful positioning of the Animal Planet brand. Items in the line include chew toy koalas and spider monkeys whose limbs are replaced by dog-teeth-resistant ropes and canvas. The line launches at Petsmart’s 1,100 stores around May 3, kicking off National Pet Week.
“The new Jakks line will bridge Animal Planet from animal authority into the pet care arena,” said Debra Joester, president and CEO of Joester Loria. “Our goal is to . . . grow the Animal Planet brand from its media base into something animal lovers can enjoy, and depend on, in their everyday lives.”
Animal Planet has plans for on-air and online support. Petsmart will be referred to as the “exclusive retail partner” during May and June, and there will also be product integration on pet shows. As part of the online marketing campaign, Discovery will send e-mail blasts about the retail program to its consumer database.
Petsmart, which advertises on the channel, will give Animal Planet five feet of dedicated space and POS signage at each retail location.
Key categories in the pet product line include toys, apparel, accessories and bedding for dogs and cats, but hamsters and lizards aren’t being overlooked: Additional “chews, habitats and edible environments” are being developed for smaller critters. A portion of the proceeds will go to Animal Planet’s non-profit campaign, R.O.A.R. (Reach Out. Act. Respond), which is described as “a voice for animals.”