Escape Pod & Merrick Pet Care launch ‘The Barklorette’


Did you know that according to, 75% of women now say they wouldn’t date someone without their dog’s approval? True story.

Apparently, dogs are in charge even when it comes to their pet parents dating habits.

So, The Escape Pod and Merrick Pet Care have decided to put that to the test. Last Monday, as a part of the current “Dogs are in Charge” campaign, the two launched a fun Bachelorette-themed contest series on Facebook called, wait for it…

The Barklorette

The three-part online series, hosted by Luke Meyer, ties in perfectly with the 15th season of The Bachelorette, which airs on ABC.

In the premiere, Merrick invites Amanda, a dog mom, bachelorette and Texas native, to give her dog, Finn, the chance to call the shots in her quest for love. Amanda and Finn are introduced to three eligible bachelors – Beriah, Michael and Wes – to selecting what they will do on their date to even join

Will there be canine chemistry or will her dog continue to be the only man for her? Watch the first episode below:

Dogs are in Charge

The new webseries is an extension of the new “Dogs are in Charge” campaign which began running last month.

It’s The Escape Pod’s first work for the brand since being named AOR and is designed to recognize and celebrate the special and amusing ways pet parents express their love for their four-legged family members.

Directed by Optimus One’s Jamieson Mullholland, the campaign features relatable, real-life examples to illustrate how dogs are truly in charge.

The launch video features user-generated videos and content where dogs are unapologetically laying claim to their domain. It opens with a lovable pup floating on a pool raft, cuts to an adorable French Bulldog getting comfortable in his parents’ bed and ends with a Great Dane taking a comfortable seat on her mom as she practices yoga.

A series of scenes showing pups demanding attention by slamming – or pawing – their parent’s laptop shut is further emphasized with a voiceover that states that dogs are in charge.

The video closes with a look at the higher-quality ingredients, real whole foods and deboned meat that Merrick uses in their recipes and a plea to pet parents to serve them well; when people see dogs this way, this is the food they serve them. Watch below:

“In the past, dogs worked for people. They herded our sheep and guarded our yards. But today, we bring them food, we bathe them, and give them the best seat on couch,” said Derek Sherman, Executive Creative Director for The Escape Pod. “Clearly, the paradigm has reversed, and dogs are firmly in charge. We set out to prove this with our new campaign for the Merrick brand.”

“We love our dogs so much that we let them take control of our bed, the couch and our lives,” said Barbara Liss, Vice-President of Marketing for Merrick Pet Care. “Our new campaign aims to raise awareness for the Merrick brand and connect with pet parents around the relatable truth that dogs reign supreme.”

With a new campaign and webseries it truly is a “dog date dog owner’s” world. The Dogs are in Charge campaign will be supported with radio, online video, digital banner ads and social channels.

Client: Merrick Pet Care

Agency: The Escape Pod
   Managing Director & Founder: Norm Bilow
   Executive Creative Director & Founder: Vinny Warren
   Chief Executive Officer: Celia Jones
   Director of Integrated Strategy: Tyler Moore
   Executive Creative Director: Derek Sherman
   Creative Director: Ryan Dickey
   Associate Creative Director, Art: Austin Arnold 
   Associate Creative Director, Copy: Anthony Williams 
   Social Strategist: Casey Moore
   Agency Producer: Marianne Newton 
   Agency Producer: Annelise Smith 
   Director of Accounts: Matthew Johnson
   Senior Account Executive: Lauren Glazier
   Account Executive: Allegra Sunday
   Production Business Manager: Cindy Mayer

Production Company: Optimus One
   Director/DP: Jamieson Mullholland

Post: Optimus
   VO Record & Final Audio Mix: Optimus, Marina Killion & Ben Treimer
   Editorial: Optimus, Ruben Vela II
   VFX & Online Finishing: Optimus, Glen Noren, Ryan Wood, Jim Moss


Source: The Escape Pod

Contact Colin Costello at