Colenso BBDO and My Dog make sure our canine friends aren’t forgotten with airport campaign

Often when we travel abroad we tend to bring back some kind of gift or souvenir for our loved ones (for those who have children it is often unquestionably expected) but the ones who miss out tend to be our faithful canine companions, who are often first to the door. Colenso BBDO and My Dog channel this idea in a pilot activation.

The premium dog food brand (known as Cesar in some markets) and Colenso ran the activation, called ‘The one who misses you most’ which allowed travelers to purchase a bit of a treat for their dogs on the way home, just as they might for family and friends when hitting up the duty free store for a cheap bottle of gin or slightly-less-expensive-than-normal perfume.


According to a release issued by Colenso, the airport used media to “tug on the heartstrings” of disembarking dog owners and make them realise they’d forgotten about their dog, “…so that when they passed the luxury style pop-up store, they were ready to buy a gift for them – a premium pouch of My Dog packaged up the way you’d expect of any luxury travel retail gift”. We’re not so sure the dogs would have been too concerned about the packaging though.

A clip was released of the stunt and includes a couple of interviews with dog owners, with one chap saying his poor pup went into depression mode while he was away. It’s also intercut with clips of dogs waiting for their owners, staring forlornly out of windows.

The clip features Mars Petcare New Zealand marketing manager Debbie Laing who discusses the success of the campaign, “During the promotion we sold seven times more than the average retailer, where it has outperformed average sales in a normal New Zealand supermarket shows that there’s real untapped potential.”

Also situated at the airport was a digital ad. Colenso BBDO group business director Ahmad Salim says the agency filmed West Highland Terriers looking around and then up at eye level to give the impression they were looking for their owner in the crowd, “It worked really well actually and did seem like they were interacting with the people who came closer. Quite a few people were taken by it and tried to get a reaction from the dog.”

The release says people confirmed that despite always returning home with treats for others, they had never considered bringing something from the airport for their dog, “The activation proved that given the opportunity, dog owners would buy a treat for their fluffy friend on impulse when passing through duty free. Thus establishing that a viable and untapped retail channel exists in airports for the premium dog food brand.”

Salim says “It was one of those great insights that was bang on brand and seemed so small and simple at first. Then you realise it could lead to something genuinely business changing and for a brand with a global foot print within an organisation like Mars, that’s massive and truly exciting.”

As a result of the pilot Mars are now discussing this opportunity at a global level and My Dog/Cesar, could become the first dog food brand to be available in travel retail around the world, the release says.

In other dog-related news, Colenso also worked on an app for Pedigree alongside Google Australia/New Zealand called Found, which was released in April  allows dog owners to use their smartphone to find a lost dog.

The app sends out a pre-registered ‘lost dog’ advertisement via the Google Display Network to anyone located with a 2.5km radius of the owner. In addition, the service will also send out a push notification to registered app users, allowing the dog owner to assemble a veritable army of dog lovers within a second.

At the time of the app’s launch, the team at Colenso mentioned that the new tech trinket would serve as precursor to the launch of Pedigree’s new global platform. This new platform came into fruition earlier this month, StopPress reported, via a pair of TVCs bearing the slogan that launched in Australia and Brazil.

Both spots were developed by BBDO agencies, with the Brazilian ad being the work of Almap and the Australian one credited to Clemenger across the ditch.

And although these spots weren’t developed by Colenso, they both bear the ‘feed the good’ positioning that the Kiwi agency has developed in conjunction with BBDO New York over the last few months.  

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