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Established: 1996
Location: Austin, TX
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Merrick Pet Care Launches "Best Dog Ever" Campaign

Post Date: 4/21/2014

Merrick Pet Care, a leader in natural and organic pet nutrition, announces the launch of its “Best Dog Ever” advertising campaign with Austin-based agency McGarrah Jessee. The new campaign for the company’s all-natural, made-in-the-USA Merrick brand dog food marks the most substantial marketing investment in its 25-plus year history and comes at a time when the brand is experiencing double-digit growth in the expanding natural, premium pet food category.

“Our new campaign is based on the guiding insight that most pet parents truly believe their dog is the best dog ever, and to honor that bond they seek the very best for their dog when it comes to choosing a food,” said Mark Sapir, vice president of marketing for Merrick Pet Care. “This emotional insight wrapped around the benefits of our food — high quality, nutrition and great taste — guided the development of the campaign as we celebrate the special relationship between pet parent and pet shown through shared joy at mealtime.”

The campaign will kick off this month with 30- and 60-second digital videos featuring company founder, Garth Merrick, and his own “best dog ever,” Gracie. Merrick employees and their dogs also star in the spot, which was filmed outside of the family home in Hereford, Texas, where the company began in 1988 and remains today.

The video explores how Mr. Merrick started creating all-natural recipes from his own kitchen out of a desire and passion for providing a better food worthy of his dog. And now he wants to share those recipes with “your dog, the best dog ever” — recipes that are handcrafted in small batches with real deboned meat as the No. 1 ingredient plus farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. The video ends on the campaign theme: “The best dog ever deserves the best food ever. The best dog ever deserves Merrick.”

The video will be in heavy rotation across a variety of premium online properties. It will be followed by a steady stream of additional online videos that further introduce the Merrick brand through entertaining and engaging content. These videos will encourage pet parents to create and share their own “Best Dog Ever” videos via a specially developed website.

As pet parents continue to research pet food brands online, a major component of the campaign will target current and potential consumers via search, display and remarketing. In addition, there will be a heavy social media component to reach new and current pet parents, as research demonstrates pet parents are particularly active across a number of social platforms and receptive to brand messages there.

“The natural pet food category has become very crowded, and a highly targeted digital campaign is the best way to break through to the right consumers and reach them via multimedia channels that bring our story to life in the most compelling ways,” said Sapir.

Finally, the company is updating the Merrick website with a dynamic comparison tool for pet parents to compare their dog food brands to Merrick, and offering a money-back guarantee to reinforce that pet parents will find Merrick to be “the best food ever, for the best dog ever.”

McGarrah Jessee and Merrick have been working together since last November, when the agency was awarded the business. McGarrah Jessee is known for highly integrated campaigns for a number of iconic consumer brands including Shiner Beers, Whataburger, Frost Bank, Costa Sunglasses and YETI Coolers.

“Merrick has a heritage and philosophy we admire and they are a standout in their category,” said Britton Upham, general manager of McGarrah Jessee. “We’re excited to help tell their unique story.”