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P&G created soap operas many moons ago to help the company sell soap. Today, they take that into the space age with Petside, a site created to help them market their dog food. Actually I take that back, they don’t seem to be pushing dog food at all, which would have made sense. Instead its large ads with shaking men and text link sales plus some partnership with Petco (the store links there).
Americans spend over $40 billion each year on pets, related products and services and this new site wants a piece of it. When I think of pet social networking, I think of Dogster. Looks like there is a new dog on the block.
The site is a partnership between NBC Universal and P&G. I noticed no search engine optimization (titles are blank, no descriptions, etc.) but they do have a groovy "add this" bar on every page (see graphic on right). And in IE7, the site makes my mouse get all weird as if they are loading some weird video drivers.
The site looks nice — kind of reminds me of those Yahoo In-A-Box social networks they are launching these days. It also appears that they are working on a "Pet Ad Network" from what I can tell.
Just like Dogster, you can register your pet on "my.petside.com" and upload photos and videos. Looks like a white-label social network, can’t figure out which one though.
A good bit of the content is from other sources including the ASPCA.
P&G is a ad-spending machine and I am sure that they will gain acceptance quickly due to their spending patterns. And they also have one thing that Dogster doesn’t: packages just ripe for site marketing. Of course Dogster has an amazing tight-knit community, something Dogside must hope to have in the long-term.