Protesting with the 99 paw-cent
Pet food company stunt plays off the Wall Street protests
October 5, 2012
Fed up with the way they’ve been treated, eager to foment change, and armed with dozens of posters detailing their concerns, the protesters gathered in New York City to rally.
Big and small. White and black. Young and old.
They all came together to take a stand against something they believe is wrong.
No, this wasn’t an Occupy Wall Street event.
This was Doggupy.
Yes, Doggupy (rhymes, not coincidentally, with “occupy”).
Doggupy is a movement for better pet food, started by Merrick Pet Care to bring attention to what the company says is a big issue in the canine community – subpar food. Merrick markets what it likes to describe as gourmet entrees for dogs and cats.
On Tuesday a group of 20 dogs, along with their owners, descended on Union Square in a show of unity to demand improved food and play off the whole “99 percent” movement.
During the four-hour event Merrick handed out free samples for dogs and nutritional information for their owners touting its new line of “better-tasting” entrees.
To promote the launch, Merrick asked its agency, Carmichael Lynch Spong, to come up with something pop culture-related that the company could put its own spin on.
Merrick used the word revolution frequently in describing its new products. That sparked the Doggupy idea.
“We said, there’s something there in that idea of a revolution and started playing it out. If dogs really truly spearheaded a revolution, what would that look like?” says Emily Buchanan, a senior principal at Carmichael Lynch Spong and director of the Merrick account.
“We started with the creative, social videos, dogs taking over the airwaves, like pirate radio. What’s the next step in a revolution? We came up with the idea that they’d probably stage some sort of protest or sit-in.”
Thus Doggupy was born.
The event was promoted via social media with the hashtag #Doggupy. On Monday Merrick added a petition (what it called a paw-tition) to its Facebook page for dogs and their owners to sign to join the better food revolution.
The dog owners camped out, in pup tents of course, and engaged anyone walking buy with information about Doggupy.
Merrick also donated 250,000 meals to area animal rescue groups as part of the event.
The stunt worked because it was clever and very of-the-moment. With the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement last month, the protesters were back in the news, and so any sort of campaign playing on that was guaranteed to draw attention.
Plus, the name of the stunt was irresistible, lending itself to countless puns.
As the Merrick Twitter feed declared, “United we sit. Together we stay.”
Tags: alt media, alternative media, alternative media advertising, alternative media stunt, campaign, Carmichael Lynch Spong, community, doggupy, merrick, Merrick Pet Care, Merrick Twitter, new york city, occupy, occupy wall street, radio, revolution, Union Square
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