Nestlé Purina PetCare Co.: Incredible Dogs campaign

Mark Lane


NOTE: Since the initial appearance of this essay in the 1999 edition of Major Marketing Campaigns Annual, Ralston Purina was acquired by Nestle USA. The essay continues to refer to the company's former name, as that was the official name of the organization when the campaign was launched.

With the "Incredible Dogs" marketing campaign—a broad effort that included advertisements, an essay competition, and canine athletic events—Ralston Purina Company encouraged consumers to purchase Purina Dog Chow and Purina Puppy Chow to help their pets attain an exceptional level of health and energy. An advertisement in Reader's Digest in November 1998 showed a man in a business suit prone on the sidewalk in front of his house. A large puppy stood on the man's chest, regarding him inquisitively. In the door of the house was a hole shaped like the outline of a puppy, implying that the dog had burst through and tackled his owner outside. The headline read, "It's gotta be the Puppy Chow." The text said that Purina Puppy Chow offered appealing taste and the perfect nutritional formulation—including calcium and protein but no artificial colors—for puppies to develop strong bones and muscles. The ad included the slogan "Incredible puppy food. Incredible puppies" beside a picture of the product. The "Incredible Dogs" campaign was developed by the Fallon McElligott advertising agency. It ran through 1998 and into 1999 in print and broadcast media.