Feb 24, 2010 at 06:14 PM
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'Save A Pet' Apps Get Brand Sponsors

As cause marketing becomes an ever more present element within traditional sponsorship deals, cause components may play growing importance in helping social application developers finally gain acceptance and interest from mainstream brand advertisers. One example of this is DogTime Media, which claims to be the largest vertical network of pet owners, and their recent launch of two popular Facebook applications, Save a Dog and Save a Cat.

Similar to other popular social games like Farmville, DogTimes' new apps reward users (and a cause) for achieving certain actions within the game. The Save a Dog and Save a Cat applications by DogTime allow users to browse and "virtually" foster real animals in their neighborhood or anywhere in the country. Points are awarded to users for "petting" and "walking" their fosters, and for inviting other Facebook users to co-foster an animal. For every 2,500 points each user scores, DogTime donates the financial equivalent of a cup of food to RescueGroups.org, a non-profit organization that provides free and low-cost technology services to animal shelters and rescue groups across the country. As of February 17, 2010, the app has raised more than $34,000 for shelter animals in the U.S.

Fresh Step litter from The Clorox Company has signed on as the launch advertising sponsor for the new Save a Cat application.

"The makers of Fresh Step litter are committed to helping cats in need," said Carole Louie, Senior Group Manager, Media, The Clorox Company. "DogTime's Save a Cat application allows us to help DogTime provide consumers with an opportunity to support a cause that is important to them."

Hill's Science Diet partnered with Save a Dog to promote the Hill's 3-Bag Challenge, an annual contest that awards a $5,000 donation to the Hill's shelter of the winner's choice, and a lifetime supply of food for the winner's pet. Hill's is renewing its sponsorship of Save a Dog for 2010.

"With Save a Dog and Save a Cat, we wanted to go beyond social gaming and create an engaging and altruistic experience that is tied to our mission of helping homeless pets," said Trevor Wright, CEO of DogTime Media. "The popularity of Save a Dog and Save a Cat has shown us that we can successfully involve brands and a passionate community of pet enthusiasts together in a common, unified mission to help animals find loving, permanent homes."