Despite the recession, spending on pet care remains robust and sales are increasing each year. These days owners are more inclined to treat their pets as part of the family, giving them the best that they can afford – from private healthcare to gourmet food! In fact a study by Pew Research showed that 85% of dog owners and 78% of cat owners considered their pet to be part of their family, and 94% of dog owners and 84% of cat owners had a “close” relationship with their pet. These besotted pet owners want to make sure that their loved one is given the very best in life, so pet food brands need to show, now more than ever before, that their brand is the best that money can buy.
We had a look at the various ways that pet food brands are attracting and maintaining customers in this extremely competitive category.
Pet food brands are increasingly giving pets anthropomorphic qualities to encourage customers to spoil them. Snookums cat food goes one step further, differentiating itself from competitors using unique edgy copy and sassy graphics that portray frustrated cats, that have had enough of embarrassing human behaviour and neglect. This is pet food with CATtitude!
The packaging and in-store POS continues to voice Snookums’ felines attitude toward the consumer.
Revolving around the premise that dogs will do anything for Frolic biscuits, this funny ad campaign elevates the brand to a more human level with the strap line She’s only with him for his biscuits”.
Playing off the saying, she’s only with him for his money” there is a focus on seemingly mismatched relationships between attractive and unattractive dogs in bourgeois environments. This was a print and video campaign although unfortunately the characters were not used in the packaging design.
Purina leads digital innovation in pet food advertising with these Friskies branded iPad games for cats! The iPad lays flat on the ground and shows objects bouncing all around on its display. Just remember your screen guard!
The game successfully drives engagement and trust as well as raising awareness of pet health and wellbeing.
By creating an interactive game specifically for the cat (the consumer) rather than the human (the shopper), Friskies add value to their brand and become an integral part of the cat’s lifestyle as well as diet.
This concept cat food, Wildcatz, has fully integrated packaging and in-store communication that work together to really bring the brand to life.
This campaign for Iams dog food involved vinyl stickers being placed on the back windscreen wiper of cars to create a wagging tail effect! A really fun way to demonstrate that the product is good for a dogs wellbeing and will keep your pooch happy and healthy.
This redesign of Nutro’s Natural Choice pet food uses organic woven packaging to promote the ecological and philanthropic campaign of the brand.
Strategic placement of POS displays can make the difference between being noticed and being overlooked. These POS units overcome this challenge by sitting in the middle of the aisle to grab the attention of the shopper.
Buses are an excellent opportunity to build brand awareness as they’re pretty much moving billboards! This one for Tiernitos dog food uses a giant decal to show passers by just how much dogs want to get their paws on some of their pet food… OUCH!
The message was also continued on static billboards/ print ads:
Cats and dogs have been prominent characters in Disney movies for generations, so it made sense for Disney to also provide it’s own range of meals for our four legged friends.
By using popular Disney animals on the packaging, the products stand out on the shelf and draw in shoppers with instantly recognisable imagery.
Although we’re not sure Old Yeller is really the best celebrity pet to use (didn’t he get rabies in the film?!)
For even more examples of marketing aimed at pet owners, head over to our ‘Pampered Pets’ pinboard …