The bulk of Pedigree’s business was in wet food, but the sub-category was suffering from long term decline. Believing it as the healthier option, dog owners increasingly chose to feed dry food instead.
While Pedigree had dry food, they had very low awareness and no budget to support it. Pedigree were faced with the prospect of being obsolete if they didn’t change dog owners purchasing habits.
For years we had been telling people via our advertising that wet food was good for their dogs. But research showed this approach wasn’t working, and instead dog owners considered Pedigree the McDonalds of dog food. Just telling them was clearly not enough.
Dogs are a man’s best friend. Their owners see them as members of the family.
Despite this unconditional love, a shocking truth was emerging. The dog population of the UK was experiencing an obesity epidemic. One in three dogs were overweight, and more than 70% of owners admitted to giving their dogs unsuitable junk food.
This wasn’t because of lack of love, but lack of knowledge. Too many people weren’t clear how much to feed their dogs.
Inspired by human health tracking apps like Fitbit and Nike Fuelband, our idea was to harness the ‘quantified self’ phenomena to solve the dog obesity crisis, and ultimately sell Pedigree.
Pedigree Tracks was born. A mobile app which enabled dog owners to create a personalised profile of their dog, track its exercise, and find out exactly what the perfect diet for them would be across Pedigree’s portfolio of wet food, dry food and treats.
Working with scientists at Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, the app was designed to work across all breeds and feeding requirements. Educating owners and healthy levels of food, while also demonstrating the benefits of adding wet food into the routine – directly addressing Pedigree’s core business challenge.
Targeted media was used to maximise downloads of the app, while wide-scale online video showcasing the app, and its canine health benefits was used to address the broader brand and product perceptions.
The app was so ground-breaking in the pet care category that the supermarkets really got behind us and gave us twice as much extra promotional space and informational signage in store.
Since the beginning of the year, this was the only new marketing activity for Pedigree, and sales are up +7.5%. Most importantly we’ve seen growth in all wet food formats, and the decline in the dry business is starting to slow.
More than 50,000 apps have been downloaded, and our video showcasing the app has been viewed over a million times, four times more than any previous Pedigree videos.