Premium venue for premium dog food 

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Colenso BBDO client Mars ran a pilot activation allowing incoming travellers at Auckland airport to buy a treat for the one who misses them most – their dog – the way they normally would for friends. The campaign was for premium dog food brand My Dog (known as Cesar in some markets).

“Whenever we travel abroad we are almost always expected to buy duty-free gifts and treats for friends and family, even colleagues, but we never think to buy anything for the ones who miss us most – our dogs,” says Colenso GAD Ahmad Salim.

“To My Dog and Colenso, this seemed wrong, so we set out to do something about it.”

They used airport media to tug on the heartstrings – and memory – of disembarking dog owners so that when they passed the luxury-style pop-up store, they were ready to buy a a gift for them (a premium pouch of My Dog packaged up the way you’d expect of any luxury travel retail gift).

My Dog hit upon an untapped consumer need and seven times more product was sold than the average New Zealand store would sell in the same time. Moreover people confirmed that despite always returning home with treats for others, they had never considered bringing something from the airport for their dog, and had never even felt bad about not doing so because the opportunity hadn’t existed.

“The activation proved that given the opportunity, dog owners would buy a treat for their fluffy friend on impulse when passing through duty free,” said Salim. “Thus establishing that a viable and untapped retail channel exists in airports for the premium dog food brand.”

Debbie Laing, marketing manager of Mars Petcare New Zealand, said: “It’s the perfect place for My Dog as we are positioned as a premium treat for dogs. To see the results where it’s out-performed sales in a normal New Zealand supermarket really shows that there’s untapped potential.”

Ahmad Salim said: “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.”

Laing says the NZ pilot’s success means the campaign my now run at a global level, and My Dog/Cesar could become the first dog food brand to be available in travel retail around the world.



Creative Director: Aaron Turk
Group Business Director: Ahmad Salim
Business Director: Abbi Barker
Copywriter: Billy Worthington
Art Director: George Howes

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