Program: Purina Small Dog Squad

Manufacturer: Nestle Purina Petcare

Lead Agencies: Geometry Global; Mirum Shopper

Award: New Product/Service Introduction (Bronze)

Nestle Purina teamed with Walmart for a digital and in-store campaign that established the manufacturer as the lone expert on how to care for small dogs and introduced a new brand dedicated to small dogs called Bella. Carried by overlooked insights that small dogs require their own specialized feeding routine and nutrition, the campaign blasted through its goals to generate trial of Bella within the first six months of the campaign. Category sales at Walmart increased year over year, as well.

The “Purina Small Dog Squad” campaign highlighted four small dogs (Lenny the pug, Baxter the Boston Terrier, Charlie the Yorkshire Terrier, Piper the Chihuahua) on signage, in printed handouts distributed in stores and on a brand destination page at Walmart.com. The digital landing page served as an informational command center for owners of small dogs. Banner ads drove shoppers to the site, where they could buy Bella food, but the site also shared helpful information such as how small dogs require food that has antioxidants to support their immune systems and how protein is needed to build their muscles.

Sampling stations were set up in Walmart stores so shoppers could learn more about how the Bella brand better cared for smaller dogs and their small bodies. Ambassadors were on hand to answer questions and delivered the take-home materials.

Purina’s insights say small dogs represent more than 70% of the dog population growth, yet brands haven’t highlighted their needs for specialized care. Owners previously chose food based on how the kibble fit in the dog’s mouth, not based on the different nutritional needs a small dog requires.

The beauty of the Bella campaign: It gave a big voice to small dogs and engineered a new small dog brand portfolio for Walmart.