Pedigree’s Selfiestix campaign was a real star at the latest Cannes Lions Festival. Before the award season kicked off, we were lucky enough to have a chat with Maria Devereux and Kim Ragan, the two Creative Directors behind the campaign. But first, take a look at the case film:

  • What was the brief from Pedigree and how did it all start?

The brief was based around a product called Pedigree Dentastix, which falls into health and wellbeing category, but the client wanted to make it more functional and fun.

  • But how did you reach the idea of selfies? Most agencies struggle with finding good ideas. How do you generate ideas – is there a good recipe to share?

Dentastix marketing is focusing on good teeth and a beautiful smile, thus we ended up with smiling dogs and selfies and took it as springboard. In order to make a selfie with your dog you need to share a close moment where dog’s dental hygiene is important. That’s how it all started.

Actually there’s no special process for generating ideas, we just sit together and talk about it until good ideas come up. One more thing is that we have amazing planners here in Colenso BBDO and oftentimes the brief has reasons that lead to good ideas.

Best ideas come up from interesting consumer insights. Interesting insight about this product was that dog owners want to get closer with their dogs, thus they give them Dentastix to freshen their breath. So we took that idea one step further and gave them an app, that they can take interesting selfies with their dogs using the app.

  • Did you test this idea on your target group, or how did you make sure it works?

We didn’t do any specific consumer testing. Our budget was too small for a research. But it could be a good thing actually. We could see from social media, like Facebook and Instagram, that selfies with dogs are increasingly popular, and as dog-owners we knew that Snapchat filters don’t work with dogs. Therefore we created new app so that filters could recognize dog faces.

Considering the market size of New Zealand – we can be a testbed for the rest of the world. The campaign was launched locally, but due to its success it was rolled out globally. It has been rolled out on 24 different markets and the app has created 2.3 million clips globally. And this enabled us to share the costs that had to be made for developing dog face recognition app.

  • Most successful campaigns have PR components. How did you manage to ignite this global campaign?

We collaborated with a local group of influencers. They used and talked about SelfieSTIX in their posts. This helped to spread the word amongst other dog owners.

On top of that we had three TV slots which ran mainly on Facebook, so there was quite a lot paid media behind these TV slots. They were quite successful.

  • Can you think of any lessons?

If the necessary technology doesn’t exist then find a way how to create your own. Our creative technologist was incredibly clever and he is the guy behind our technology. It took some time, but it was well worth it.

You need to have some touch-points in order to integrate traditional offline with an interactive online campaign. Dentastix packages had SelfieSTIX with a label inviting people to download the app. As SelfieSTIX worked together with and app, it encouraged clients to buy more Dentastix, which in turn pushed backed into traditional point of sale. It was a bit of a media strategy in which all components were linked together.

  • Was there also a discount for the product itself or it continued to sell with a regular price?

The underlying product was sold with a regular price, but the SelfieSTIX clip was for free.

  • Even if the sales numbers don’t go up during the campaign, awareness of the brand still increases and this is usually sufficient. How much feedback did you, as an agency, get from your client about the sales results?

Depends on the objectives. If the objective is increase in sales then it is important for us. If it’s more about increase in awareness or brand campaign, then there are different measures. Actually these two go hand-in-hand. Sales increased 24% so actually a quarter of all New Zealand’s dog owners used the clip to make selfies with their dogs, so we think it was a strong idea.

  • Are there any fun facts or bloopers about the campaign?

One thing would be that despite the simple looks of the clip it took unexpectedly long time to develop the system behind it. It was a 2 year process which is a long time for marketing campaign!