In Argentina, 8 out of 10 dogs might never have a home and the abondonment of dogs is commonplace. Additionally, dog shelters in Argentina are rare and not well organized. Inevitably, this situation leads to thousands of dogs being euthanized every year or run over on roads. Back in 2010, Pedigree started the 'Adoption Programme Drive' in Argentina, a take on the global initiative with three fundamental principles: educate, promote and adopt.
With a shelter adoption, Pedigree attempted to save more than one life by making room for other dogs, or allowing other dogs to be kept at a shelter for a longer period of time, giving them a better chance of being adopted.
Despite this situation, it intended to create an adoption shelter culture in Argentina and promote a responsible pet ownership; at the same time, Pedigree needed to increase brand awareness of puppy food products on women 25-45.
It started a crusade for loving and caring families to open up to the possibility of adopting dogs from shelters and, at the same time, it wanted to convince dog owners to end abandonments. Most owners of dog shelters said that the vast majority of the abandoned dogs were two years or older, when the novelty of having a dog has worn off. The reason for this was that owners never really asked themselves the important questions: Did they really, really…REALLY want a dog?
Aligning with a cause that directly impacts dogs' lives for the better and to start fulfilling the brand's promise, 'We're for Dogs,' Pedigree needed to show Argentineans that having a dog is a major responsibility in a country where 80% of dogs won't ever find a home.
If there is one TV show that Argentineans follow everyday is Big Brother. With a share of 40%, it's the most-watched TV program with the largest impact in social networks. Pedigree figured that if it introduced a dog that has been waiting for adoption in a shelter in the house, the audience would help it find the best home while also teaching viewers how to educate and take care of a dog.
It first sparked awareness when the dog - Kymba - entered the Big Brother House. At the same time, TV spots helped to find a new home for Kymba through an adoption contest. Banners in the official Big Brother and unofficial websites redirected people to complete the adoption form.
In Kymbá's first appearance, the show achieved the highest ratings in the season. At that moment social media conversations exploded, creating an unexpected trend topic. Hashtags and Facebook groups appeared the same night.
The participants needed to care about the dog and train her. The daily interactions between Kymba and the inhabitants involved the fans: they started to participate sharing videos and commenting the dog's life, discussions about who was the best owner and talking about the disgraceful life of abandoned dogs. The life of the dog spread to more than 30 websites and print media.
The audience soon realized that Kymba was the Big Brother participant with the greatest challenge, and asked the TV programme management to extend her presence in the house for eight weeks (the original plan was three weeks). Kymba became the fourth finalist and her last day on the show was the most-viewed episode.
Kymba gravitated to one person in particular and picked her own owner, Emiliano, from the contestants inside the house. Pedigree, for Kymba´s wellbeing, gave him the adoption. The family of the contest winner let Emiliano keep Kymba and picked another puppy from a shelter.
During the show Pedigree's share of market increased 1.1% and penetration grew 1.3% in the same period.
Pedigree received 8,000 adoption applications for Kymba.
Monthly visits to Pedigree.com.ar grew from 6,000 to 89,000 during the Big Brother show.
Kymba video had 58,000 views on Youtube.
Over 70 spontaneous Facebook groups proposed Kymba as a Big Brother winner.
Plus the support of journalists with + 30 free articles in newspapers (offline and online) and online sites.
Pedigree optimized the small budget (USD 71,500) and achieved more than 2,000,000 impacts, 60% TV reach (+ 26% vs. planned).
Pedigree decided to include another abandoned dog in the next Big Brother Edition.