Short List
Product / ServiceWHISKAS
CategoryB02. Consumer Products


Name Company Position
Travis Hilton Starcom MediaVest Melbourne Client Business Manager
Laura Henry Starcom MediaVest Melbourne Client Business Executive
Kerrie Leary Starcom MediaVest Melbourne Digital Manager
Anna Camuglia Starcom MediaVest Melbourne Client Business Manager
Jessica Bell Starcom MediaVest Melbourne Client Business Executive
David Trovell Starcom MediaVest Melbourne Strategy Director

Results and Effectiveness

The campaign exceeded all expectations with: • 330,167 cat owners pledging their love of WHISKAS! • 405,680 cat lovers spent an average of 5m18 on whiskas.com.au • Submitting a staggering 854,491 votes • We distributed 716,000+ samples, creating a database of consumers cat profiles • Social media listening recorded 1200+ WHISKAS brand mentions, with over 95% positive • WHISKAS Pouch sales rose by 26.8%, achieving market share of 19.8% (target 18.6%). The campaign was voted Mars’ most successful campaign of the year and has revolutionized the way we speak to cat owners. As you can see – things worked out purr-fectly.

Creative Execution

Slightly before July, we launched with targeted digital activity, using Facebook and eDM lists to target cat owners online. We then took the campaign to the masses, driving cat lovers to the Whiskas.com.au using magazines, TV ads and in-programme segments. The second wave added the chance to have your cat appear on WHISKAS packs. Owners uploaded their cat’s profile and attracted votes to win. We used high-dwell media such as magazines, newspapers and Facebook ads targeting cat owners. Cat owners then started their own social media campaigns to attract votes for their cat. Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Answers, blogs and forums were filled with cat stories. One cat owner even updated the WHISKAS Wikipedia entry, asking people to vote for Trixie! To publicly celebrate the thousands of cats who had pledged their love, we used large-scale contacts; outdoor supersites, magazine spreads, wrapped trams, online homepage takeovers. Cat loving was officially out of the closet.

Insights, Strategy and the Idea

Imagine getting 330,000 of your customers to publicly declare their love for a cat food brand. In dog loving Australia, the cat population was declining and so was WHISKAS market leadership. Most cat owners were embarrassed to talk about their cat in public, afraid of being labelled a “crazy cat lady”. But after WHISKAS’ focus groups they stayed behind to talk about their cat; they harboured a secret desire for cat talk. Our strategy was to bring cat talk out of the closet, by connecting cat owners privately and celebrating them publicly. We created an online cat community, a ‘safe haven’ where they could connect with other owners and show off their cat. We asked them to PLEDGE their cats love for WHISKAS. With an amazing 330,000 pledging their love! We then reminded lapsed WHISKAS users that cats really do love WHISKAS because “All those other cats can’t be wrong.”