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New Merrick Campaign Celebrates How "Dogs Are in Charge"


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Merrick Pet Care Inc. has launched “Dogs are in Charge,” a campaign designed to celebrate the special ways pet owners express their love for their furry family members. The campaign taps into the universal truth that dogs are the ones in charge, according to the company, and reminds pet owners why these dogs deserve the best food.

“We love our dogs so much that we let them take control of our bed, the couch and our lives,” said Barbara Liss, vice president of marketing for Merrick Pet Care in Amarillo, Texas. “Our new campaign aims to raise awareness for the Merrick brand and connect with pet parents around the relatable truth that dogs reign supreme.”

The campaign, developed by The Escape Pod, will be supported with radio, online video, digital banner ads and social channels.

“In the past, dogs worked for people,” said Derek Sherman, executive creative director for the Chicago-based ad agency. “They herded our sheep and guarded our yards. But today, we bring them food, we bathe them and give them the best seat on couch. Clearly, the paradigm has reversed, and dogs are firmly in charge. We set out to prove this with our new campaign for the Merrick brand.”

Merrick Pet Care is backing its campaign with its recently released survey, which was conducted online by The Harris Poll. 

The survey found that nearly seven out of 10 pet owners admit that their dog is their favorite member of the household (69 percent). And, in households with kids and spouses, this admission still holds true—the majority of parents with children under 18 as well as pet owners that are married agree that their dog is their favorite member of the household (both at 61 percent). 

The survey also found that:

  • A majority of dog owners say they have bought their dogs holiday gifts (62 percent), and celebrate their birthdays (54 percent); 
  • More than six out of 10 of millennial (ages 18-34) dog owners (62 percent), say they make decisions about social plans based on their dog’s schedule. 
  • About four out of 10 pet owners have taken their dog on vacation (43 percent) and spend more money on stuff for their dog than for themselves (40 percent).
  • More than three out of four unmarried dog owners (77 percent) let their dog on the furniture in their home.
  • One out of four pet owners (25 percent) have bought a car or home with their dog in mind.  
  • The majority of millennial (ages 18-34) pet owners, which is the largest subset of dog owners, think their dog eats higher-quality food than they do (55 percent). 
  • Nearly one out of five pet owners (17 percent) have carried their dog or pushed it in a stroller, even when it could have walked on its own.

The survey included 2,020 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, of which 1,079 were dog owners.

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