BARK takes bite at interactive SMS game

Bark launches interactive SMS game for dog lovers. (Pixabay)

BARK has launched a new text message gaming experience for dog owners and dog lovers alike. The "Chews Your Own Adventure" is an interactive SMS journey with Officer Pupke to help solve a crime, according to BARK's blog

When consumers purchase the Officer Pupke squirrel toy will be given instructions on the hang tag on how to begin the crime-solving adventure. First the consumer texts DOODY to 79987, then he or she is connected with BARK's interactive dog bot. Users will be able to interview a witness and piece together clues. After the adventure is finished, users will be invited to continue the conversation with a customer support team member from Bark. 

RELATED: Boxed, Bark found rapid growth in DTC

"Whether a user has questions or just wants to swap puppy pics, we know that talking to us is the fastest way to turn a person into a lifelong promoter, and Happy is there every step of the way," the blog said. 

The new experience from BARK was modeled after the company's first ever Twitter "dog bot," which launched in 2016. 

Officer Pupke and other products from the City Sniffer's Guide to NYC collection will be available at Target, in-store and online, starting April 22. 

So why an interactive SMS experience? Rich Sargente, GM of retail at BARK says that the company is always looking for innovative opportunities to create fun experiences in unexpected ways.

"BARK customers choose us for the magical moments we create between dogs and humans, including the BarkBox unboxing experience that made us famous and every interaction with our Happy team, and we are excited to bring those same feelings into the shopping aisle," Sargent told FierceRetail. 

He added that it turns out that Target employees across the country are actually some of BARK's most enthusiastic customers.

"They're devoted dog parents too and we're happy to bring some exciting new experiences for them to take home to their pups," he added.