Whiskas Case study WHISKAS PLEDGE by BD NETWORK, Starcom Sydney

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Industry Pet Food, Pet Care Products & Services
Media Case study
Market Australia
Agency Starcom Sydney
Client Service Director Lucy Plunkett
Released April 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media Marketing
Advertiser: MARS PETCARE
Product/Service: WHISKAS
Date of First Appearance: Apr 1 2010
Entry URL: http://www.whiskas.com.au/CatProfiles.aspx
Business Strategist: Anna Camuglia (Starcom)
Client Business Executive: Jessica Bell (Starcom)
Client Business Manager: Travis Hilton (Starcom)
Client Business Executive: Laura Henry (Starcom)
Digital Manager: Kerrie Leary (Starcom)
Digital Planner: Justine Scott (Starcom)
Managing Director: Jonathan Clow
Client Service Director: Lucy Plunkett
Media placement: TV - National Spots And In-Programme Content - 15 Apr 2010
Media placement: Online - Rich Media Display And Facebook Targeting Cat Owners - 15 Apr 2010
Media placement: Newspaper - Front Page Strips In Commuter Press - 15 Apr 2010
Media placement: Outdoor - Sample Dispenser Within Adshel Panels - 15 Apr 2010
Media placement: Magazines - DPS Of Users Cat Profiles - 01 Jun 2010
Media placement: Outdoor - Billboards Displaying The Number Of Pledges - 01 Jun 2010
Media placement: On Pack - Winning Cats On Pack - 01 Aug 2010
Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Imagine getting 330,000 public declarations of love for a cat food brand.
In dog loving Australia, the cat population was declining and so was WHISKAS market leadership. Most cat owners were embarrassed to talk about their cat in public, afraid of being labelled a “crazy cat lady”. But after WHISKAS’ focus groups they stayed behind to talk about cats; they harboured a secret desire for cat talk.
Our strategy was to bring cat talk out of the closet, using whiskas.com.au and social media to connect cat owners privately and celebrate them publicly.
The creation of an online cat community, a ‘safe haven’ for owners to talk about their cats, enabled us to stimulate online cat discussion. This approach was designed to ensure cat talk spread organically into social media platforms. We then asked them to PLEDGE their cats love for WHISKAS. With an amazing 330,000 making the PLEDGE!
Creative Execution
We launched with targeted digital activity, using Facebook and eDMs to target cat owners online. We then took the campaign broader, using mainstream media to drive cat lovers to whiskas.com.au.
The second wave added the chance to have your cat appear on WHISKAS packs. Owners uploaded their cat’s profile and attracted votes to win. This created a social media frenzy, with cat lovers tapping into their social connections to attract votes for their cat. Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Answers and various blogs and forums were filled with cat stories. One super keen cat owner even updated the WHISKAS Wikipedia entry, asking people to please vote for Trixie!
Using the user generated content from the website we then publicly celebrated the thousands of cats who had pledged their love for WHISKAS. We used high impact contacts; outdoor supersites, magazine spreads, online homepage takeovers.
Cat loving was officially out of the closet.
Results and Effectiveness
The campaign exceeded all expectations with:
• 330,167 cat owners pledging their love for WHISKAS!
• 405,680 cat lovers spent an average of 5m18 on the WHISKAS website
• Submitting a staggering 854,491 votes
• We distributed 716,000+ samples, creating a database of consumers’ cat profiles
• Social media listening recorded 1200+ WHISKAS brand mentions, with over 95% positive
• WHISKAS Pouch sales rose by 26.8%, achieving market share of 19.8% (target 18.6%).
The campaign was voted Mars’ most successful campaign of the year and has revolutionized the way we speak to cat owners.
As you can see – things worked out purr-fectly.