When Mars Incorporated’s Nutro Products and the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) teamed up to increase the number of search teams in America, we recognized the partnership’s potential to reinvigorate the NATURAL CHOICE® brand.

In April 2008, our integrated “Food for Heroes” campaign raised the profile of both organizations nationwide. Marketing tactics included press kits, collateral featuring search dogs in action and SDF endorsements, web banner ads, consumer education materials, trade show events, and handler kits. Additionally, POP and a permission-based e-mail initiative worked in tandem to trumpet news about a “Food for Heroes” micro site.

Updated with handler profiles, SDF news, and other fun facts, the micro site enjoyed high traffic. But consumer participation rose to unseen heights when Nutro posted a contest asking dog lovers to vote for their favorite SDF team. After reading about the candidates in advertorials printed in publications like Dog Fancy, consumers flocked to the site to vote for the team that would represent Nutro in future ads.

The Nutro/SDF partnership continues to reap the synergistic rewards set in motion by the “Food for Heroes” campaign. By leveraging a momentous partnership, Ervin | Ad helped a worthy cause and gave Nutro huge returns from a micro site.