Reigning Cats and Dogs: Pets at Home Get a Maximum Score

Pets at Home

We’re all for pets


Last year we shone a spotlight on Pets at Home’s “We’re all for pets” brand refresh, looking at the launch ad, which scored 4.8-Stars. Celebrating the absurd lengths people will go to for their pets, the campaign also brought together different areas of the Pets at Home business, from retail to vet care, giving the whole business a unified identity. Back in May we described it as “a bold, simple positioning getting the creative treatment it deserves”.

Nine months on, the campaign is going from strength to strength with its first 5-Star ad. And not just a 5-Star ad – this 20 second spot gets the maximum possible Test Your Ad score, a mighty 5.9-Stars.

What’s even more impressive is that it hits that 5.9-Stars while being a sales-oriented ad promoting a special offer. Ads for promotions and special offers don’t always fare well on Test Your Ad, because the need to shout about the offer gets in the way of the feelgood factor. They can and do perform well on occasion – at Christmas, we’ve seen short promo-based ads hit 5-Stars, for instance. But they usually lag behind the parent campaign on Star rating – and no wonder, as they’re aiming for a high short-term Spike.

But if you can get exceptional scores in long-term and short-term measures, then promo ad or not you’re onto a winner. And this Pets at Home ad does just that.

The Pets at Home special offer in question is a 3 For 2 promotion on pet treats from guinea pig nibbles to dog toys. The ad uses a “1, 2, Free” tagline to create awareness of the offer upfront and then takes the very direct route of showing cats, dogs and small animals enjoying a huge heap of treats. Pets gnaw, paw and nibble their treats to the absolute delight of viewers. In fact, the ad is the most effective pet retailer ad we’ve ever tested. A definite sign that Pets at Home and agency The&Partnership should think about recycling some of this imagery once the promotion ends.

The ad ties itself back to the main campaign by way of the “We’re all for pets” tagline but also the soundtrack, an excerpt from Meat Loaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love”. In the campaign launch ad, the song brilliantly aligned with the message about devotion to pets. Here it’s less directly related but the song’s anthemic power is still the perfect fit to slow-motion scenes of dogs and cats leaping for joy. And guinea pigs eating for joy, of course.

It’s a great example of an ad which takes the core assets of a campaign, adapts them, builds on them, and levels up to make something even better. A tribute to the virtues of consistency, a good idea, and knowing what your viewers want to see.

"We’re really pleased to be System1 Ad Of The Week. This campaign is one of the first outings of our new brand platform, ‘We’re all for pets’, since it launched in April last year. Our aim was to get across a really strong value message, whilst reflecting the warmth and charm of the Pets brand so we’re really pleased it has resonated so well."

Madeline Shaw, Marketing Director Pets at Home
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