Short List
Product / ServiceK9 NATURAL PET FOOD
CategoryG03. Single-market Campaign


Name Company Position
Nina East Ogilvy NZ Creative Director
Gal Stern Ogilvy NZ Copywriter
Glenn Chapmann Ogilvy NZ Senior Art Director
Iain Wood Ogilvy NZ Art Work
Fawne Sandberg Copper Brand Experiences Event Design Lead
Tasha McDonald Copper Brand Experiences Senior Account Director
Chrissy Ve Copper Brand Experiences Even Producer
Isobel Adamson Copper Brand Experiences Junior Producer
Katie Kirkbride Ogilvy NZ Social Media and Content Specialist
Charlotte Jackson Anthem PR
Megan Clark Cook Ogilvy NZ + Copper Brand Experience Managing partner
Sarah Geel Anthem PR

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

We took a small-town Jack Russel race in rural New Zealand and turned it into a national sensation. Brand experience and activation were at the core of our idea. By building a playful integrated campaign around this annual four-legged live dog race in the heart of farming country, we were able to capture the hearts and imaginations of people across New Zealand.


K9 Natural is premium local dog food. It’s loved by the people that know it, but brand awareness was lagging behind the alpha dogs of the pet food category. Every year, K9 Natural sponsors the Jack Russell Race at the A&P show in Wanaka, New Zealand. A local event with traditionally 75 entrants and a small live audience. While it’s a much-loved event in Central Otago, it’s little known by anyone outside this rural community. So, our brief was to leverage the Jack Russel sponsorship to grow K9 Natural brand awareness and foster brand love. Objectives: 1. Leverage activation to drive social media engagement: o 2 million impressions o A combined campaign reach of 1.5 million o 200K total engagement o Unique reach of 500K 2. Media uptake of the sponsorship idea – minimum 10 pieces of coverage 3. Increase in event registrations & attendees from 75 to 100

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Our big idea: The K9 Natural All Jacks. In New Zealand rugby is everything. It's more than our favourite sport, it's our life. If we're not playing it, we're watching it, or talking about it. And there are no greater icons than our legendary national team (who are so sewn up in sponsorship deals we are legally prohibited from naming them). So we decided to lean into this cultural truth and launch the K9 Natural All Jacks; the world’s smallest but mightiest sports team. To lead the All Jacks we appointed veteran Wanaka Jack Russel race champion, Harry, as captain. Our first step was telling New Zealand All Jack’s trials would be held at this year’s Wanaka A&P show. We rolled out an integrated national campaign the whole country could get behind, at the centre of which was the little known Jack Russel race and our hopeful four-legged friends.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Our primary audience was pet parents who have discretionary income and wholeheartedly believe that their pets are their family. They are strong followers of social media, especially where it includes dogs that melt hearts, have personality and a story to tell. K9 Natural is made with fresh local wholefood ingredients. By feeding their pets K9 Natural, pet parents help ensure their adored companions are not just getting the best nutrition but the best out of life. K9 Natural pets are healthier and more athletic. We asked ourselves, what if we could make a big noise about the K9 Natural Jack Russel race and celebrate our K9 Natural dogs, just like we do our most treasured sporting heroes.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

With Harry appointed captain, we put out our first press release. Harry announced he was recruiting for the K9 Natural All Jacks and trials would take place this year’s Jack Russell Race at the Wanaka A&P show. The press release was picked up by national media and a social media campaign started to quickly build the K9 Natural All Jacks brand. We had a training diary, collabs with NZ’s most iconic brand and of course, plenty of dietary and nutrition advice. This was supported by OOH media with Harry’s face melting hearts across the country. All media encouraged people to register for the race and trial for the All Jack’s squad. On race day, a K9 Natural trade site brought the All Jacks brand to life and New Zealand's national media was on hand to cover trials for the countries smallest but mightiest new team. 01/02/2021 - 31/03/2021

List the results (30% of vote)

Harry won the ultimate small-town dog race and K9 Natural won unprecedented brand awareness. On a small budget, the brand broke all measures, almost doubling expectations in key areas. Event Results • Increase in race entries to 103 Jack Russells (plus one poodle). • Approx 5,000 attendees watched the 3-minute race live (increased from approx. 3,500) Social Results • Over 5.5 million impressions • A combined campaign reach of 3.2 million • 300K+ engagement • Unique reach of 776K PR results • 12 x news stories secured across print, online, TV and radio • Approximate audience reach of over 760,000 collectively • Key news piece was Seven Sharp, NZ's prime time lifestyle format news show. Host Hilary Barry referred to the K9 Natural "showstopper” event.

Please tell us how the work was designed / adapted for a single country / region / market

New Zealand is a sports mad nation but there’s one sport put on a pedestal above all others – rugby. And in NZ no one is lauded more than our legendary national team. We love them and as a result, they are everywhere, their superstar status and multiple sponsorship deals, mean they are an enormous part of everyday culture. We realised the way to make a big noise about this tiny Jack Russel race and reach our target audience, was to position our four-legged athletes as the ultimate sports heroes and borrow from the vernacular and sports marketing world of the nation’s favourite team. We took a tiny rural activation and, by putting a playful idea at the centre of it and wrapping a hardworking integrated campaign around it, with a tiny budget, we were able to generate huge brand awareness and brand love faster than a 3-minute dog race.