Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dogs Rule!

Here’s a campaign that seems to have popped up with a new found sense of urgency - Pedigree’s Dogs Rule campaign. The site, most likely the brainchild of TBWA/Chiat/Day in Los Angeles is extremely well done from both execution and strategic standpoints.

The premise is simple, “We Love Dogs”. What does that mean exactly? Well, in the context of this campaign it means that Pedigree will match monetary donations, as well as Pedigree product donations given by customers to assist animal shelters located near the customer/donator. Ultimately, it means that Pedigree is working to help homeless dogs find homes and ensure they are a little more comfortable during their temporary period of orphanhood.

Normally, at this point in the post, I’d walk through each creative deliverable and critique it’s execution within the context of the campaign. I’d throw around vernacular like viral components, digital revolution and Age of Conversation. In this particular post, I’ll save us the effort in wading through simple concepts with overly sophisticated names. I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with the use of those terms, nor do I have issue with any of the sources linked above, but in this instance, they’re not of primary interest. The individual executions of this campaign are not flawless, but they are very well done. The point is this - where this campaign really sets itself apart; is when we step out of our “jaded creative guy” skin and put on the trusty “business” hat.

So what’s so different about this campaign? Take a look at the facts, and think about it……….
  • Dogs eat dog food.
  • Pedigree sells dog food.
  • Homeless dogs are put to sleep, thus removed from the market, if they are not adopted.
  • The Dogs Rule campaign is designed to help homeless dogs find adopted homes.
  • If the Dogs Rule campaign is successful in finding homes for homeless dogs, there will be more dogs in the market consuming dog food, thus the revenue potential of this vertical will increase.
As a result of the success of this campaign there could be a significant increase in revenue potential for Pedigree, given their current share of voice and share of market. This could potentially be the ultimate win/win scenario. Consumers, who love dogs, adopt a dog or an additional dog – Pedigree has helped them do so and the consumer couldn’t be happier. On the other side of the coin, Pedigree gets access to a larger pool of revenue that their customers, financially, helped them cultivate.

So here’s the point – In today’s marketing environment, full of the increasingly sophisticated, inevitably cynical consumer, your customers will cry bloody murder if they smell even a hint of corporate ambition. I’m not implying Pedigree went into this campaign with that particular objective, but what I’m saying is if you know the customer, and you create advertising/marketing strategy that is spot on to their needs……… doesn’t matter. As a brand, if you can show you know your customer and you care about what they care about AND provide the actions to support that claim then your leash (so to speak) gets significantly longer. In this case, people who love dogs tend to love ALL dogs, and genuinely appreciate the efforts of shelters, non-profit groups and dog food manufacturers alike who are working to improve the lives of dogs and enlighten owners-to-be. This campaign is a fantastic example of insights informing the creative process and creative being effectively implemented to support those findings.

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