Campaign: ‘Lick, Lick, Lickables’

Client: Go Fetch International

Agency: Frontier Australia

 

Background

Lickables is the first major brand developed by Go Fetch International who, prior to Lickables relied on importing brands or distributing existing local brands.

Lickables is a range of all-natural dog treats launched in October 2009. The product’s point of difference lies in the pure dehydration process that the treats go through, extracting moisture from the meat without altering the flavour, aroma or nutrition. The range includes Lamb Liver, Porky Chews, Roo Bites, Beef Cubes and Fish Biscuits.

Since the treats launched, Go Fetch focused on getting the product onto the shelves of pet specialty retailers and sampling the product at a range of dog shows.

However, limiting the consumer marketing to those attending dog shows ignored the majority of the market who buy treats for their dogs, but don’t go to the effort of attending dog shows. 

 

Objectives

Go Fetch had two main objectives in its campaign to introduce Lickables to a wider audience:

  • Increase sales of Lickables through existing stockists, and
  • Use the campaign to encourage additional retailers to stock Lickables

 

Strategy

Go Fetch knew that to motivate retailers to stock Lickables it was going to have to run a consumer advertising campaign that differed from the ‘standard’ campaigns run by other manufacturers.

Many brands advertise in pet-focused magazines such as Urban Animal, Dogs NSW, DogsVictoriaand Paws n Claws. Advertising Lickables in these publications would not motivate new retailers to stock this range and would not reach enough dog owners to significantly increase sales.

Radio advertising was viewed as the best medium to communicate to the target audience, when audience size and cost was taken into consideration.

While mass-market brands use media such as radio or television, it is rare for brands that are exclusively available in pet stores to invest in marketing to such a wide audience. 

 

Execution

Working with Frontier Australia, Sydney radio stations were briefed about Lickables and asked to put together a proposal to promote Lickables on their station. 2UE came back with a detailed proposal, including pre-recorded and live advertisements and a competition run in conjunction with Lickables. 2UE also runs programming complementary to Lickables, with animal behaviourist Dr Joanne Righetti appearing on Tuesday afternoons and Don Burke hosting a show on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Callers to each of these programs were given a sample packet of Lickables for the duration of the campaign.

Once the specifics of the campaign were finalised direct mail was used to let stores know about the details of the campaign. Stores were sent a digital sample of the advertisement, along with a special offer to buy a quantity of Lickables and an explanation of the of the products’ point of difference. Stores that already stocked Lickables were encouraged to get ready for the advertising campaign by stocking up on Lickables, while other stores were encouraged to stock Lickables for the first time in readiness for the increased demand created by the advertising.

With a tight budget for the campaign it wasn’t possible to develop a jingle for Lickables, but a bed of music and sound effects were used to great effect. Don Burke was arranged to voice the ad, a good fit for Lickables, given the level of trust he has amongst 2UE listeners, and his perceived knowledge of dogs and dog products.

The concept for the competition was for a “25 words or less” entry to win a 90-minute consultation with 2UE’s animal expert, Dr Joanne Righetti, and a year’s supply of Lickables. The first 200 entries would receive a free packet of Lickables to sample. In the end it was agreed that listeners would log on to the 2UE website and write, “the worst thing their dog has ever eaten”. This was relevant as Lickables is an edible product, and dogs that eat things they shouldn’t are also in need of some training – which was to be provided by Dr Joanne Righetti.

To ensure dog owners responding to the ads found Lickables as easy as possible, Go Fetch worked with selected retailers, encouraging them to display Lickables in a prominent location in-store while the campaign was running.

While the advertising was running, Dogs NSW held their first open day – ‘Dogs on Show’, which allowed Go Fetch to sample Lickables to the hundreds of dog owners in attendance and sell Lickables to those who were wanting to take some home for their dogs. 

 

Results

With a lot of effort focused on getting Lickables into stores before the commencement of the campaign, May was a record sales month for Lickables, exceeding even the opening month when the initial sell-in to stores commenced. In NSW, sales in May grew 260 percent on the average monthly sales from January–April. In fact, sales in May were greater than the accumulated sales from January to April.

Another exceptionally strong result was achieved in June, while the campaign was in full flight – more than 300 percent higher than the previous monthly average. This showed that stores were selling through the stock purchased in May and needing to re-order during June.

Once the advertising finished running in July it was expected that sales would come off the highs seen in June and July. July’s sales were however still 62 percent higher than the monthly sales seen pre-advertising, thanks to repeat business from those who trialled the product during the campaign and increased distribution. Even more pleasingly, with two weeks remaining in August the sales total in NSW has already exceeded July’s result, guaranteeing another very strong result.

A total of 21 new stockists came on board during May and June, broadening Lickables ongoing distribution. A pleasing result, given Lickables was already available in many stores prior to this campaign.

The dedicated Lickables page on the 2UE website, where listeners could enter the competition, received over 570 impressions with more than 225 entries into the competition. From here, there was numerous clicks through to the Lickables website, with 2UE the leading referrer to the Lickables site for the month – even exceeding referrals from Google.

During the ‘Dogs on Show’ event numerous people visited the stand and immediately recognised Lickables from the advertisements, with many hearing them while travelling to the event. These people were very keen to try Lickables and were happy to purchase them from the stand on the day.

With sales in Sydney at a pleasing level, Go Fetch will run a similar campaign in Melbourne and Brisbane over the coming months, to boost sales in these states to a similar level to Sydney.