02 October 2015
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Pedigree: barking mad?

This week egtabites goes walkies to New Zealand – with possibly the world’s only radio station designed especially for man’s best friend.

Everybody knows how popular radio is, bringing music, entertainment, news and information to billions of people around the world. And it is also common knowledge that radio provides a wonderful companion, keeping its listeners’ company and helping them to stay connected to their communities, even when alone.

But until now, one key demographic has been overlooked. A group of ... individuals ... who can be described as highly brand-loyal, major consumers of food and other perishables (such as socks and slippers).

You guessed it, dogs!

So how did this idea come about?

Pedigree, part of food giant Mars, has a history of developing innovative campaigns designed to make dogs’ lives better. The company was looking for a new idea, so they teamed up with creative agency BBDO Colenso – their partner for past canine campaigns – for a new project.

BBDO Colenso carried out research that showed that whilst dogs get bored when left at home, they respond positively to classical music and the human voice. So a 24hr radio station, with a mix of talk and music, was the perfect solution!

The Cannes Lions-winning K9FM

Pedigree’s new radio K9FM was designed to be a proper radio station from the beginning, broadcasting on an FM frequency so that owners could leave the radio on all day without having to run their computers. Pedigree gave the creative minds at the agency considerable freedom to come up with dog-friendly programming, ranging from sports segments (Fetch In The Park) to items touching on cuisine (Cuts of Meat), topical debates (Where Is The Ball? and Stupid, Stupid Cats) and a thought for the day (Chew On This). Crucially, the project had support of Mars’s Chief Marketing Officer for Global Petcare, who helped guide this unusual creative idea through the client’s internal procedures without it becoming compromised.

“We calculated we would need around ten hours of speech content given the rest of the output would be music, with additional content to add to this to keep things fresh,” says Senior Writer Matt Lawson. “The idea was that the station should appear live to any dog or dog owner switching on at any point.”

The campaign even generated additional human interaction through shout outs, where owners could leave messages for their lonesome pooches. And plenty did!

But what – beyond doggy soothing – did K9FM achieve?

By coming up with a great idea and promoting it just like any other station, Pedigree created a fantastic social media buzz around the campaign during the three months it initially ran. Pedigree also attracted considerable media coverage, doing its brand no harm at all within its core, animal-loving target group.

Pedigree pet food hit a three year sales high during the campaign, and the brand achieved an earned reach of ten times its original target.

Why does this matter to egta members?

By thinking outside of the box (or should that be kennel), brands can use radio’s remarkable flexibility to develop highly unusual marketing concepts that both connect with consumers and help drive sales.

This case proves that as an innovative, customisable and relatively affordable communications platform, a well thought out and creatively designed radio campaign can achieve a client’s marketing objectives without breaking the budget.

And radio can make a dog’s life just that little bit better.

egta will showcase great B2B and B2C cases at its Radio Marketing & Sales Meeting in Hamburg on 1 December 2015. We hope to see you there ... or even better, hear about your own successes!

Target: Radio
Background info

Please click on the links below to access the relevant documents:

» Case film (please click here)

» Examples of K9FM's programming (please click here)

Download in PDF

Please click here download the PDF version

» RADIO egtabites 2015
» RADIO egtabites 2014
» RADIO egtabites 2013

Next events

» Radio Marketing & Sales Meeting

Tuesday 1 December 2015
Hamburg, Germany

Register here

» Partner event:

RAIN Summit Europe, November 9, London
Conference devoted to the subject of Internet radio and online audio.

egta members benefit from £25 discount on the regular registration rate, please contact Ania for the discount code.
For more information and to register, click here