Activation Gallery: Pet Products

Pandemic or not, the marketing of pet products is substantial. Path to Purchase Institute editors noticed a plethora of digital activations during the spring months at mass merchants, specialty retailers and elsewhere. Here’s a sampling of recent activity. Institute members can see much more pet-related activity in the image vault at

  • Target ran a variety of promotions to tie in to the designation of May as National Pet Month. On, a home page display ad promised $5 off a $25 purchase of eligible pet products in stores or on same-day deliveries via Target’s Shipt subsidiary. The ad linked to a category web page that marked the observance of National Pet Month (spotlighting new products from private labels Boots & Barkley and Sun Squad) and also for Pride Month in June. The page also hosted checklists for shoppers with a new cat or dog, highlighting products from brands including Mars Inc.’s Nutro, Nestle Purina Petcare’s Tidy Cats and Clorox Co.’s Burt’s Bees.
  • Ainsworth Pet Nutrition’s Rachael Ray Nutrish earlier this year deployed a pallet display in Walmart’s Action Alley touting the product benefits of its “super premium food for dogs” and plugging the company’s support of animals in need via the Rachael Ray Foundation, which gets a portion of proceeds. The display also boasted that the product was made in the U.S.


  • Dollar General partnered with Nestle Purina Petcare for a sweepstakes marking May’s designation as National Pet Month. Consumers entered weekdays from May 4-29 by posting a picture of their pets in the comments section of a designated post on the retailer’s Facebook page.
  • PetSmart launched a new You Are Loved private label ahead of June’s Pride Month celebrations. The line spans 21 dog products ranging from a $2.99 rainbow plush squeaky toy to a $20.99 unicorn hoodie. A home page display ad, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates, linked to a dedicated e-commerce page.
  • Walmart announced the addition of cat products from Jackson Galaxy to its offering with a leaderboard ad and banners ads running on its cat category pages mid-May. The ads linked to a showcase dedicated to Galaxy that includes a video introducing the cat behaviorist, touts various products from Galaxy’s line as well as others he recommends (along with explanations of their benefits), and also presents tips including a video on the importance of play.
  • Walmart united cat products from two manufacturers on one pallet display in Action Alley during National Pet Month in May. Shoppable from two sides, the display stocked Church & Dwight’s Arm & Hammer Slide cat litter on one side and J.M. Smucker’s Meow Mix cat food on the other. A side panel affixed to the display’s two non-shoppable sides touted both SKUs to obtain “complete cat care” and directed shoppers to for more options.
  • Dedicated coolers at Kroger’s Harris Teeter merchandise preservative-free cat and dog food from Freshpet.
  • General Mills’ Blue Buffalo recently launched a new brand of puppy and kitten food exclusively at Petco. Dubbed Baby Blue, the lineup is merchandised on dedicated mobile racks positioned in the aisle. Headers identifying the adjacent racks as puppy and kitten “nutrition centers” call out the items’ exclusivity while pink and blue shelf strips differentiate between the cat and dog SKUs. Multiple circular features have supported the rollout.
  • In direct to consumer activity, The Kong Co.’s Kong Box subscription program, which launched in September 2019, promoted an enrollment deal/cause effort in June via sponsored Facebook updates touting a free first box  to consumers who sign up for a six- or 12-month subscription plan and donate $1 to the nonprofit Best Friends Animal Society. The sponsored updates linked to through a new window (without leaving the Facebook app) detailing the offer and presenting the product options available through the first customizable box (such as a Kong classic toy, a training toy, personality toy and treats).
  • Clorox Co.’s Fresh Steps Clean Paws in early May promoted its low-tracking cat litter at Walmart with an ad simultaneously running across multiple placements on the home page of the retailer’s website. A “shop now” button linked to a Fresh Step showcase touting Clean Paws product benefits and offering “buy now” links to various SKUs while promoting Walmart’s two-day delivery service to “skip the lines & the heavy lifting.” The showcase also delivers tips to keeping cats happy and invites consumers to join the manufacturer’s Paw Points loyalty program.