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Come together: Petco seeks to unite humans and their animals

Published September 6, 2013 at 11:19 pm

A dog might be a man’s best friend, but how can an owner truly show his gratitude?

Petco has often wanted to help answer that question, and for years the pet food and accessory store has become known as “the place that pets go.” But, with a new $15 million advertising campaign, Petco wants to become much more than that.

Petco’s marketing team created a commercial called “The Power of Together” that highlights the “co” in the organization’s name. As a recent AdAge article points out, that is the Latin word for “together,” which seems to be the key to the ad itself.

Owners are depicted interacting with their pets in various aspects of daily life. A voiceover describes the bond between animals and their humans as that of companions, cohabitants and copilots—highlighting the first two letters every time.

The commercial also succeeds in distinguishing Petco from the similarly named company, PetSmart. The latter company spent $94 million on measured media last year, according to the news source, but that has not deterred the smaller organization. On Facebook, Petco’s official page has 2.3 million fans, compared to PetSmart’s 1.8 million.

Petco chief marketing officer Elizabeth Charles told AdAge that connecting on social media is just one way that her company is striving to create a better connection. She added that the new advertising approach is meant to highlight the human-animal bond. Overall, there is a “true brand transformation,” she said. In addition to advertising changes, Petco will adopt cultural, policy and operational changes.

“We’re redefining the game from just being about products and services. You can play the price game all day long,” Charles said. “Customers want to have a relationship with their retailer, to that extent we can provide tailored advice, services and solutions.”

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