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PetSmart makes a song and dance about our favorite furry friends

Leading pet products retailer PetSmart has today unveiled a new brand ethos supported by an over-the-top, musical-inspired spot demonstrating just how far pet parents will go for their beloved babies.

PetSmart today launched ‘Anything for pets’, a new brand platform that seeks to encapsulate the sentiment shared by both pet owners and PetSmart that they’d go to the ends of the earth for their furry, winged or scaly companions.

‘Anything for pets’ debuts today with a national campaign created by Deutsch LA. In the spot, we see pet owners pictured doing, well, anything for their pets – from walking their dog during a downpour and sporting a sweater featuring their pet’s face to getting inked with a portrait of their feathered friend.

“We wanted to come up with something that said as much about pet parenthood and the mindset of pet parents as it did about the brand itself,” says Deutsch LA executive creative director Ryan Lehr. “When we landed on ‘Anything for pets’, we knew we found that sweet spot because it really does speak to how pet parents think about their pets. And it’s a great thing to say for PetSmart, which also goes to great lengths for people’s pets and offers a unique array of services and products for pets and pet parents. It sort of has multiple meanings – a very emotional meaning and then also a very practical meaning.”

To drive the message home, the actors in the hero film sing cheerily about their devotion to their pets, giving the spot the distinct feel of a Broadway musical unfolding before viewers’ eyes. “PetSmart’s chief marketing officer Will Smith is such a musical guy – his backgrounds is in music,” Lehr says. “And so when we started talking about music, he kind of lit up. It just felt like a natural fit to use music to communicate these emotional benefits and connect with people.”

The new brand platform and slogan build upon the brand’s recent work. In the heat of the pandemic, PetSmart launched a touching campaign encouraging audiences to adopt pets through PetSmart Charities. The brand capped off the year with a cheery holiday campaign focused on the joys of spoiling pets with new toys and treats, petitioning viewers to “get them everything they deserve and more”.

The new ‘Anything for pets’ message is the natural extension of these emotionally-centered campaigns, according to Deutsch LA’s group account director Fernando Barretto. “It’s the perfect brand platform to start building on with more [messages that express] the lengths that you would go to for your pets,” Barretto says. Lehr adds that the team is “excited about the potential of this platform to be sort of a playground for us for the next few years”.

The brand’s chief marketer and senior vice-president Will Smith agrees. “‘Anything for pets’ is more than a new tagline or marketing campaign,” he said in a statement. “For us, it’s a way of life and the fabric of our company, inspired by the associates who continue to go above and beyond to serve our customers and their pets. They are living proof that at PetSmart, we’ll do anything for pets.”

The move may also help PetSmart capture a larger portion of the direct-to-consumer (DTC) pet products market, where the brand’s online sales in particular lag behind category leader Amazon. Online retailer Chewy – which was acquired by PetSmart in 2017 – now owns 41% of pet products e-commerce sales, but PetSmart’s new brand platform and ‘Anything for pets’ campaign could help bolster the brand’s position in the e-commerce space.

The ‘Anything for pets’ initiative includes various film assets and will be activated across digital and social channels. It will also include a special 15-second film in partnership with delivery platform DoorDash, as well as a 30-second film in partnership with pet food brand Hill’s Science Diet. The project was shot by award-winning director Shelley Lewis.

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