President’s Choice goes (back) to the dogs

Loblaw Companies is SuperDogs' best friend.

Loblaw Companies is rekindling its long-time sponsorship of the SuperDogs show to promote its President’s Choice brand. The Canadian grocery store chain was the original sponsor of the canine talent show when it debuted 33 years ago and had been the show’s sponsor for about 15 years. In the interim, sponsors included Eukanuba, Iams and Procter & Gamble.

The multi-year deal means the President’s Choice brand will be featured at all of SuperDogs’ Canadian shows. ‘We really think that, given [SuperDogs] breadth of coverage in all of the fairs and markets and shows that they run across the country, we can reach over a million families and dog and cat owners,’ Loblaw’s senior VP of marketing Craig Hutchison tells MiC. Loblaw will use the sponsorship to promote its relaunched President’s Choice Nutrition First Dry Dog and Cat Food.

The sponsorship includes signage at SuperDogs shows, in-show mentions and a President’s Choice ambassador outside every show with bags of dog and cat food, answering questions about pet nutrition. ‘We’ve trained our team owners on the food formula, and a large portion will be switching to this new formula,’ says Phil Shuchat, president of Williams Show Productions, the parent company of SuperDogs. ‘So we do mention that our dogs are fuelled by the President’s Choice Nutrition First formula.’

The SuperDogs show is currently running at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto and the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver. The show attracts about one million visitors per year in Canada. Last year the show ran in nine cities, but SuperDogs is planning to expand its schedule to include 22 cities by 2011.

With media planning helmed by Montreal-based Aflalo Communications, TV, radio and print advertising helps promote the SuperDogs show, and President’s Choice is the title sponsor in all of SuperDogs’ marketing material. ‘Except for some of our souvenirs, wherever we have a SuperDog logo, it says ‘the President’s Choice SuperDogs,” says Shuchat.