'The Dog That Changed Me': Why Pedigree launched a podcast that's not just for pups

The brand is shining a spotlight on adoption with celebrities' personal stories.

Katherine Schwarzenegger is one celebrity partnering with Pedigree on the campaign
Katherine Schwarzenegger is one celebrity partnering with Pedigree on the campaign

FRANKLIN, TN: Attention dog lovers: Pedigree has something new for you to listen to on early morning walks.

Mars Petcare’s Pedigree brand has sponsored a podcast called The Dog That Changed Me, which is set to launch on May 14. It features celebrities such as Mandy Moore and Bryce Dallas Howard discussing pet adoption and highlighting their personal stories. The brand is planning to release five episodes this week and four next week.

Pedigree sponsored and created the podcast, which was produced by Dear Media. The brand has full creative control over the episodes.

The podcast is part of the larger Every Pup’s Superpower campaign, which launched in March with spokesperson Katherine Schwarzenegger, who is a pet-adoption advocate and philanthropist.

"The inspiration for the podcast was to shine a spotlight on dog adoption through the telling of touching and delightful stories that [Schwarzenegger] could help us bring to life," said Craig Neely, VP of marketing at Mars Petcare. "The central idea was to help folks understand how wonderful pet adoption can be and the wonderful value and contributions dogs make to our lives."

Fans can expect very personal anecdotes. One episode includes a story from Moore, who discussed the role her dog played in helping her work through a divorce.

The Dog That Changed Me is the first podcast Pedigree has gotten involved with, said Neely, who added that podcasts "lend themselves well" to storytelling.

"That is where the platform popped as something for us to explore, because this is about sharing these great stories," he explained. "I thought it would be a great foray into this platform."

There is no specific target audience for the podcast; Neely said the brand wants the stories to be relevant to everyone.

In March, Pedigree said it is sponsoring the IMAX documentary Superpower Dogs, which "highlights the extraordinary abilities of dogs who save lives and make the world a better place," according to a release.

"This podcast is the opportunity to extend it further to be a national campaign that shines a light on total pet adoption and celebrate the superpowers in all dogs beyond the ones featured prominently in the film we sponsored," said Neely.

Schwarzenegger and Pedigree are promoting the podcast on their social media channels and encouraging people to share stories about what is special about their dogs on social media.

For every post including the hashtag #EveryPupsSuperpower, the brand will donate one bowl of food, up to 500,000 bowls, to pets awaiting adoption. The brand will also donate $250,000 to the Pedigree Foundation to support shelters. Other budget information was not disclosed.

Pedigree’s PR partner is Weber Shandwick.

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