Fido seeks lookalike pooches and owners

And the winners of the online casting contest will get to star in an upcoming campaign.

In what’s arguably the friskiest online contest to trot down the pike so far, Fido has bowed an exercise in a whole new category: consumer-and-pet-generated media.

Until the end of August, the Fido Casting Tour contest is inviting Canadian consumers to submit photos of themselves, together with their lookalike dogs, to an online microsite. Judges will whittle the entries down to ten pairs who most resemble one another, and then choose one duo to appear in Fido advertising later in the year.

Fido will rev up awareness of the contest in Montreal tomorrow, just before the first NASCAR race. Québec race car drivers Andrew Ranger (pictured) and Alexandre Tagliani will participate in the casting call by bringing their own pets to an autograph-signing session outside the downtown Hugo Boss store.

The Fido Casting Tour is part of the company’s fetching new engagement effort, which began rolling out last month – building on the popular dog/owner lookalike concept developed by Bos Montreal. Throughout the summer, a tour bus equipped with Fido handsets will have a presence in Toronto and Montreal to reach Fido’s key demographic: young urbanites. Those who check out the bus’s on-board handset demo bar can also pose for a professional photographer and be matched up with a file photo of their lookalike dogs.

Explains Patrick Hadsipantelis, VP marketing at Montreal-based Fido, ‘We’ve started to invest in more grassroots efforts, and we’re trying to find new ways to interact with consumers in the marketplace.’ Hadsipantelis added that the company is trying to make up for lost time: ‘We haven’t been very active in doing product demonstrations.’