Milk-Bone turns pics of chewed-up stuff into coupons

The brand continues to build itself around the love dog owners have for their pets, despite how frustrating it can sometimes be.

Most dog owners love their pets unconditionally, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating to come home to a chewed-up book, shoe or piece of furniture. Luckily for them, Milk-Bone is making those moments a little more bearable.

Until May 11, pet owners can send a photo of something their dog chewed up in a direct message to one of Milk-Bone’s Canadian social media accounts in exchange for a $2.50 coupon for Milk-Bones. Some of the “best” photos will also be shared on Instagram and Facebook.

The campaign was conceived by Leo Burnett Toronto, with Spark Foundry on the media buy.

“Ask any dog parent and they’ll tell you about that time their dog chewed something that they’ll never forget,” says Lisa Greenberg, co-CCO at Leo Burnett. “But they always forgive, because they love their dogs no matter what. Giving pet parents something in return is a way for Milk-Bone to also be something they’ll never forget. That thing that got chewed, now they can put it to good use and turn it into something their dog will love.”

While the coupon amount likely won’t cover the cost of the damaged item, the idea is that making a box of Milk-Bones more accessible other beloved items. The “chew on this instead” concept is something the brand first played with in a print campaign by Leo Burnett that mimicked the page of an IKEA catalogue, showing the cost of all the things a pet could destroy – unless they are busy chewing on Milk-Bones. Like that campaign, this new effort acknowledges the sometimes frustrating facets of pet ownership, with an added, functional reward.

“We wanted to create a program that showed Milk-Bone doesn’t just understand the many facets of life with your dog, but rewards the unconditional love pet parents have through it all,” said Adam Zitney, VP of marketing for Milk-Bone’s parent company, Smucker Foods Canada. “Chewpons are a great way to take the sting out of finding another chewed thing and turn it into something that your dog will love.”

According to Smucker, Milk-Bone sales grew by 11% globally in Q3, with the pet category more broadly being pegged as a key area of further growth. Though the company has gotten “more efficient” in its marketing spending in order to get “more bang for [its] buck,” it has still been investing in its key brands, a practice it plans to continue in the year ahead.