Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Pet food claims that are hard to swallow

In an article about the growing pet care industry Adweek reports, "pet-food makers are shifting ad focus from value and nutrients to the more emotional side of pet ownership." TBWA's Pedigree campaign is offered as proof. "Dog food advertising is usually 'all about science and the rational benefits of the food,' said Chris Adams, copywriter for the campaign. 'People love dogs like their own children, and no pet food company was really nailing that.'" Then Adweek rolls over so TBWA can scratch its belly.

Even I -- someone who has effused over the Pedigree campaign -- am put off by how ADWEEK so obediently accepts the TBWA claim here. Ever hear of Purina One? Hill's maybe? There must be some consumers who still value "nutrients" and "science." Could it be -- just thinking out loud here -- that Pedigree plays up the "emotions" story because they have no "rational benefits" story? That their consumer insight is less a breakthrough and more a necessity? Just a thought. Chew on it for a minute.

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