Mongrels are set to become the stars of the show as part of Masterfoods’ £27m marketing campaign to reposition its Pedigree dogfood brand for a wider audience.
Pedigree is synonymous with the Crufts dog show and its ‘Top breeders recommend it’ slogan, which the company ditched in 2001 after 37 years.
But in new TV ads, to be aired from February 6, mongrels and cross-breeds will feature for the first time alongside pedigree dogs. The commercials will picture the pets in a variety of familiar everyday situations, accompanied by a new ‘It’s a dog thing’ strapline.
The £27m spend for 2005 - up 30% on last year - will include the new brand repositioning
TV commercials, press ads in colour supplements and women’s titles, a postcard with a poem (pictured) sent to 700,000 households and ongoing sponsorship of ITV1’s This Morning show. Further product-specific TV ads will follow.
However, Pedigree will continue to be principal supporter at Crufts and has an event planned for this year’s show at the Birmingham NEC (March 10-13), which will be supported by a nationwide Pedigree roadshow.
“We are trying to appeal to all dog owners and all dogs,” commented David Wilson, UK marketing director for petcare at Masterfoods.
“‘It’s a dog thing’ is effectively the same message as ‘Top breeders…’ but more emotionally engaging and compelling,” he said.
“Dog food is about more than just feeding - it’s another way to nourish the bond with your pet and we want owners to feel confident that we understand the importance of this bonding,” Wilson added.
All future Pedigree marketing communications will carry the new strapline.
Unilever UK Foods is bringing back Norman the Panda to front a TV campaign for Knorr Beef Tonight after the hungry panda helped it win a Top Campaign accolade in the last Top Products Survey (The Grocer, December 11 2004). In a new 40-second ad, which airs from February to April, Norman is adopted by a family and is seen excitedly awaiting the serving of his tea singing ‘I feel like Beef Tonight!’ Ten second bursts will follow focusing on Knorr Sausages Tonight and Chicken Tonight.
Sean McAllister