MARS

#CatsInBoxes

Challenge

Sales

Summary

Whiskas may be the big tom cat of pet food in Australia but some cheeky young rivals were stealing share. Brand tracking studies revealed that under 45s viewed the brand as outdated and were seeking new ways to feed their felines. Our objective was to revitalize Whiskas for a new generation and show them that no-one understands cats better than Whiskas.

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Insight

We realised that to connect with a more digital savvy audience, one that often buys cat food online, we needed to boost cultural relevance, increase perceived value, and capture their hearts.

When we talked to Whiskas experts on cat behaviour, they told as that pets live better lives when the owner understands a cat’s most natural instincts. These natural instincts can be seen in their often mysterious and intriguing behaviour - especially when it comes to playtime. In fact, it’s often the most unexpected things that cats will play with.

With Covid 19 restrictions forcing pet owners to spend more time at home – Australia had some of the world’s toughest lockdowns – many were also boosting their use of eCommerce.

Our insight was the cats are masters of turning even the most basic delivery box into a world of play. We vowed to improve the feline play experience that ecommerce could provide.

Strategy

Our idea was to arouse cats’ curiosity and stimulate indoor play by turning delivery boxes into cat play boxes. We would transform ordinary brown boxes into three exciting play destinations. The delivery box would become a vehicle to boost awareness and engagement for Whiskas.

Amazon Australia was the obvious partner; Not only did it deliver hundreds of thousands of parcels every year, it also indexed very highly with our target group. Amazon was also an increasingly important D2C channel for Whiskas parent MARS.

The idea

In a media first, we would partner with Amazon Australia to turn their delivery boxes into exciting play destinations for the nation’s cats. For two months in 2021 all 250,000 large delivery boxes would be transformed. We would also offer a variety of different cat homes for entertainment during lockdown : The Cat Castle, The Cat Office and the Cat Roller Coaster.

Awareness was boosted through Amazon’s cross-platform advertising, plus the branded playboxes also encouraged customers to socialise pictures of their own cats to win Amazon gift cards – using the hashtag #CatsInBoxes2.0. These images were amplified on Whiskas-owned social channels.

Results

An independent sales lift studies by IRI revealed an ROI of $3.79 compared to the control market. This translates to a value uplift of 4.6%, which far exceeded the benchmark for average sales increase secured by pet food advertising campaigns of 1.8%. In addition, we saw a 70% uplift in Whiskas sales on Amazon during the campaign. Not only did we drive sales, but we also changed attitudes. Surveys of all those who received a Whiskas Amazon box revealed a 5% increase in brand consideration compared with a control group of people who ordered in the same time period.