Family.com, Friskies: Purrfect Together

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Nestle USA will increase its presence on Walt Disney Internet Group's Family.com site as part of an effort to promote its Friskies pet care business.


As part of the Family.com deal, Friskies will become the exclusive sponsor of the site's newly created family pets area. The sponsorship includes integrated content and advertising as well as other customized elements.


"I think what this does is it just provides Friskies with direct access to families who are already seeking information on either pets or future pets," said Beth Collins, vice president and general manager at Family.com, New York.


Nestle merged its Friskies business with Ralston Purina's pet care division in January. The new $6.3 billion entity combines Friskies' strengths in the wet cat meals area with Ralston Purina's dry dog food focus.


The Friskies stable of brands includes Friskies Cat Food, Fancy Feast, Mighty Dog, Alpo, Come 'N Get It and Chef's Blend.


Positioned as a parenting site, the 5-year-old Family.com attracts an average of 1.7 million unique visitors each month.


Family.com, which has a similar deal with Pillsbury in its recipe section, has gone to great lengths to customize its family pets area to suit Friskies' needs.


The pet name finder tool is one example of this. Starting this month, users can find a name for a pet from a database that includes names of classic, foreign and historical figures. Names can be chosen based on gender, personality and species. Friskies is the exclusive sponsor of this tool.


"This is really built off a popular tool that we already have called the baby name finder," Collins said.


In another joint effort, Family.com and Friskies will offer co-branded checklists on topics such as pet-proofing your house, questions for the vet, traveling with pets and city living with a dog.


"We have found that women really like checklists because it summarizes all of the information and questions that we need to answer around a particular subject that they can print to take with them or put on the refrigerator," Collins said.


Family.com users who seek in-depth advice will soon be able to link to a veterinarian through the family pets section. Family.com will launch its first Best Pet Personality contest in May. Users will be able to submit photos of their dogs and cats for posting on the site during March.


To encourage interaction, users will be asked to nominate a grand-prize winner in the dog and cat categories. The winners will receive a year's supply of Friskies pet food.


"It reinforces Friskies as the leading pet care specialist," Collins said. "Throughout the pets area there are links to a number of the different pet [sub] sites that Friskies maintains, and it supports the content that Friskies has."


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