Rampaging rhinos and pet ostriches are all part of the award-winning Adopt-A-Pet -- "Crazy Pet Videos" digital marketing spot for Pedigree Food for Dogs that garnered Catapult Action-Biased Marketing a top prize at the Promotion Marketing Association's 27th annual Reggie Gala Awards Dinner last month.

Considered the "Oscar" of the shopping marketing industry, Catapult's triumph marks the first time that a digital marketing campaign has been bestowed a Super Reggie Award by the international marketing organization.

During a television advertisement, aired during the Superbowl game, viewers are encouraged to adopt a dog instead of the "rampaging rhino" -- and a slew of other "crazy pets" that they get to know personally through the short videos available on Pedigree's website.

Although TBWA/Chiat-Day produced the Super Bowl segment, Jason C. Rogers, vice president of account services at Catapult, explained that marketing communications companies such as Catapult are responsible for "extending the story" digitally.

"An investment in the Super Bowl is very expensive so you want to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck," Rogers said.

The television spot repeatedly asks "Why not adopt a dog?"-- as opposed to an ostrich, bison or, yes, rhinoceros.

Catapult's expertise is in getting consumers to take a desired action, whether it's to download a coupon, sign up for a newsletter or, as in this case, go to the Pedigree website.

Through zany, edgy stories told by "crazy" owners of some outlandish pets, the fun story introduced during the Super Bowl is continued a bit longer as viewers could hear about the antics of crazy pet owners who care for unusual pets. "At the end of the day, though, the message is about adopting a dog," Rogers said.

Rogers explained that his creative team's directive was to "take the consumer on a journey," and offer them a serious message about the need to adopt a shelter dog, while keeping the same light-hearted tone prevalent in the television ad. Once viewers were at the company's site, they could not only experience hilarious short videos about crazy pets but also have the opportunity to have Pedigree donate pet food to dog shelters.

They did this by, firstly, ensuring that the company's presence was easily found on all social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. The incentive was, and still is, that for every new friend Pedigree gets on Facebook, a bowl of food is donated to shelter dogs.

So far, more than 2.2 million bowls of dog food were collected and delivered to shelters. Also, the "Crazy Pet Owners" spot resulted in increased sales and visibility for the company as well as attracting a high percentage of new visitors to the Pedigree website.

Along with Catapult's creative team of about 14, Rogers credits the campaign's success to the agency's partners, including executives at Pedigree, TBWA/Chiat Day and Weber Shandwick.

"This is a great example of how collaborations work really well together," Rogers said.

At the awards ceremony, held mid-March in Chicago, Rogers was joined at the podium by Lisa Foley, of Mars Petcare, parent company of the Pedigree brand. Together they described the digital marketing campaign's overall concept. They also shared excerpts from the videos.

Catapult's Pedigree digital marketing campaign was recognized from 339 entries by senior industry leaders.

The Westport-based marketing company also received the following awards: Gold Reggie: Best Digital: Pedigree Brand Food for Dogs: Crazy Pets; Bronze Reggie: Best Digital: Scrabble at Subway; Gold Reggie: Best Cause-Related Effort: Pedigree Brand Food for Dogs: Crazy Pets; and Silver REGGIE: Best $100k and under Promo: Splenda & Fresh Berries.

Pedigree Super Bowl: Crazy Pets program also received the Interactive Marketing Award from Promo Magazine.

For more information about Catapult, visit www.catapultmarketing.com