Purina makes idols of small dogs

A new contest from the pet food brand asks small-dog owners to submit videos of their pet's best tricks to the Beneful IncrediBites YouTube channel.

In this age of social media, video-submission contests have become a common media strategy for campaigns – with varying degrees of success – but few brands enjoy the popular edge that Purina does when it comes to attracting enthusiastic amateur videographers.

Building on the internet’s insatiable appetite for cute pet videos, Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada today launched the Beneful IncrediBites Most Incredible Small Dog contest. The campaign asks Canadian small-dog owners to submit videos of their pet doing its best tricks to the Beneful IncrediBites YouTube channel, for the chance to win a $5,000 cash prize and the opportunity for the winning dog to appear in a Purina ad. The grand prize and additional weekly prizes also include a one-year supply of Purina dog food.

The contest is being supported with a YouTube homepage ad buy today, and homepage dominations on MSN.ca and Sympatico.ca. Purina also sponsors the ‘pet’ channel on Sympatico.ca, where it will also promote the contest. The display ads for the contest are interactive, featuring a faux reality show setup with a judging panel and questionably talented small dogs. There are also TV spots currently in market supporting the product launch of Beneful IncrediBites. Media was handled by ZenithOptimedia in Toronto and digital strategy and creative was handled by Publicis Modem, also in Toronto.

The idea to do a video contest to support the launch of Beneful IncrediBites came from the success of a previous Beneful photo contest.

‘We received a great response and our audience was very engaged,’ Jenine LaFayette, PR, Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada, tells MiC. ‘With the launch of the Beneful IncrediBites for Small Dogs, and the explosion around video content and social media as of late, we thought it would be a great opportunity.’

The contest ends Sept. 20, 2010.