Launching a brand today is getting harder as people’s attention spans shrink. Facebook measures our attention span at 8.25 seconds. A decrease of 33% from 2000 to 2015. Even goldfish, at 9 seconds, pay attention longer.
For Halo® pet food, we knew that in order to get the attention of today’s customer, we needed an approach that would be concise and eye-catching to encapsulate and promote the brand.
Halo's Key Differentiation
Natural pet food is a niche market, but one that continues to gain traction and relevance today. People who are discerning about the food they eat, its sustainability, and farming methods are applying that same level of scrutiny to their pets’ food.
And Halo aligns well with these food-conscious pet parents. Halo sources WHOLE Meat from cage-free farms as well as sustainable wild ocean fisheries. That means no factory farms, close-confinement, growth hormones or antibiotics, artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.
Pets' digestive tracts are pretty short compared to most mammals, and as a result, they have less time to digest what they eat. That's why the ingredients in pet food play a significant role in its digestibility.
Halo is made with WHOLE Meat instead of "meat meal" (a rendered powder used in other pet foods that's harder to digest). WHOLE Meat has superior digestibility, enabling pets to get the nutrients they need.
That's why Halo's tagline, The Proof is in the Poop™, sums up the benefits of WHOLE Meat on digestibility.
This message was already resonating with current customers. But we needed to grab the attention of new ones. Could we show new customers why The Proof is in the Poop?
Finding a Unique Angle: Meet Poopsie™
Pet-food advertising has always shown what goes "in." When we considered the pet-food landscape and Halo's key points of differentiation, we decided to highlight what comes "out."
Additionally, customers and social platforms have been increasingly shown to prefer information supported by images. In fact, the phenomenon known as the "Picture Superiority Effect" shows that people retain six times more information when an image complements the text.
These insights informed our decision to represent Halo's key messages and differentiation in an image: Poopsie, the happy little Halo poop.
Keeping It Simple
Poopsie, as a concept, simplified all the messages regarding Halo's approach to sourcing, their WHOLE Meat difference, and the digestibility benefits for pets.
And Poopsie, as an image, generated strong reactions.
“This concept was divisive in focus groups. Either people loved it or hated it. But none of the other campaigns we tested got as strong a reaction as this one,” said Group Creative Director Adam Lowrey. “And we wanted Halo's brand to be noticed.”
Poopsie not only communicates what is unique about Halo's product, but also the intimate relationship between pet and pet owner, which very often includes a pet’s poop.
“You’re walking your dog every day, you’re picking up its poop. If your cat lives in your house, you’re cleaning its litter box. So you inevitably end up caring and knowing about poop when it comes to your pets. For people who have that type of relationship with their pets, the campaign immediately clicked,” said Ravi Jayanath, Strategic Planner.
Engagement and Education
To introduce Poopsie and educate pet parents about the Halo WHOLE Meat difference, we created a musical starring Poopsie and a cast of dancing cats and dogs.
We even came up with lyrics and a bouncing poop icon, for anyone inclined to sing along.
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Our spokescharacter is versatile, too. Poopsie appeared in social ads, display ads, radio spots, out-of-home, and digital video—including a 2-minute video explaining the difference between Halo made with WHOLE Meat and other brands' food containing “meat meal.”
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There is a science and a purpose to Halo’s approach to pet food, and the advertising educated the customer in a way that was engaging, attention-grabbing, and different from everything else out there.