Nestle Rings The Dinner Bell

Relaunches Alpo with sponsored Web content

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%%STORYIMAGE_LEFT%% As a part of the relaunch of its Alpo dog food brand, Nestle Purina Petcare has tasked New York-based Studio One Networks to develop fully sponsored, integrated Web-based content.

Employing a barter syndication model, Nestle and Studio One have created "The Dog Daily," which offers helpful insights and information about the care and enjoyment of canines. Distribution partners include such pet-focused sites as The Puppy and Cool Dog Sites.

"Alpo celebrates the relationship people have with their pets and understands the excitement of the mealtime experience for both the dog and the owner," said John Carmichael, Alpo group director in a statement.

Three hundred plus radio stations, mostly Westwood One affiliates, will air companion "Dog Daily" vignettes. The radio segments will promote the online program, which in turn will promote the radio segments.

%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% "True sponsorship, that is, materials developed exclusively for one advertiser, has much greater lift in terms of persuasion and awareness consideration and purchase intent than shared sponsorships," said Andrew Susman, CEO of Studio One, explaining his company's strategy.

Many compelling content ideas get lost due to lack of sufficient promotion by the distribution platform. Susman isn't worried. "We actively monitor our syndication partners' promotion of our programs," said Susman. "The difference between online and TV is that in TV there are limited time slots versus the fragmentation of online. A diversified portfolio of distribution outlets is the ultimate hedge."

"The Dog Daily" was born from positive response from a similar program for Friskies cat food, also a Nestle brand, called "Daily Cat," now in its 2nd year. Susman said he is looking at employing video streaming with a number of advertisers, indicating it is his ultimate plan to develop these Web-based programs into syndicated TV offerings.

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