Barkuterie Board by Mars Petcare

Mars Petcare announced today Actress Haylie Duff as the new brand ambassador for NUTRO ULTRA to introduce its latest product: Barkuterie Boards.

Franklin-based Mars Petcare’s partnership with the 7th Heaven star — sister of Lizzie McGuire star Hilary Duff — aims to capitalize on Duff’s relationships with her own puppies, Birdie and Chicken, to cut into an evolving trend of serving dogs their food in artfully assembled assortments on charcuterie boards, which are typically for serving people.

Haylie Duff for Mars Petcare

This follows Mars Petcare’s April announcement of Jessica Hauff as the company’s first-ever general manager of e-commerce, accompanied by new Vice President of Strategy and Growth Transformation Travis Reaves. The former was chosen for her 15 years of digital and e-commerce channel experience not only in the U.S. but also in Europe. E-commerce is one of the most prolific industries apropos of the use of brand ambassadors on social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok to market products for purchase online.

Charcuterie is the traditional, French art of preparing and sorting cured meats, and today, charcuterie boards tend to also feature breads, cheeses, fruits, nuts and olives. The trend emerged among Millennials and especially influencers in 2020, recently referred to as the “Charcuterie craze” by NBC News this summer, heralded as an agent of social reunion right before the spikes in the Delta strain of COVID-19 decelerated the return to normal.

Mars Petcare’s timely decision to insert its own influencer into the mix serves to not only incentivize participation in the trend but to advance the trend’s focus on pets, making it an optimal marketing campaign.

“If there are two things I love most, it’s making good food and pampering my pups, Birdie and Chicken,” Duff said. “I’m excited to partner with the NUTRO ULTRA brand and I know Birdie and Chicken are thrilled too. They have loved their ULTRA Barkuterie Board and I feel good knowing they’re enjoying an assortment of premium, dog-friendly superfoods, inspired by the real ingredients in NUTRO ULTRA dry dog food.”

The new, Duff-powered campaign also features a giveaway ending Sept. 14. Mars is inviting pet parents nationwide to enter the contest to win a virtual “eat-and-greet” with Duff and her pups and receive a free board of their own, but in addition to the obligatory entry form to fill out online, entrants must upload a photo of their dog eating from a barkuterie board and share it on Instagram with #ULTRABarkuterieBoards, and #Giveaway, tagging @NUTROBrand. Entrants have to be followers to win.

NUTRO is a Mars Petcare brand of pet food products focused on non-GMO ingredients. It is one of several brands in the Mars portfolio alongside Iams, Pedigree and Sheba, among others.