Street-level wild posters, above, as well as a network of digital screens were located in well-traveled spots.
Puppo, a New York-based pet nutrition company, started in December 2018. It originally turned to social media, paid social campaigns and influencer strategy but found those to be increasingly expensive with more such DTC brands in the market.
It wanted to test out a new approach, according to co-founder Winson Wong. "Our target audience is people who care about personalization for their pets so it was important to target areas where there is a strong density of people with a wide variety of breeds like New York City."
Tapping into outdoor media, which facilitated sharing on social media, and personalizing the ads was a way the brand hoped to drive awareness.
Puppo and its creative agency, Colenso BBDO, extracted information publicly available through the Dog Licensing System within the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, under the Freedom of Information Law and created an algorithm to generate a unique, personalized ad for each of 100,729 registered dogs there.
Since every ad featured a specific pet’s name and breed along with custom messaging, it was critical for Puppo to secure hyper-targeted, ZIP code-based OOH through MilkMoney, a vendor of outdoor advertising, so every ad would be within dog-walking distance of the owner's home.
That agency secured a variety of street-level wild posters and a vast digital network of LinkNYC screens along high-traffic streets, near apartment buildings, pedestrian roads and dog parks within the specified ZIP codes.
The campaign unleashed a flurry of Instagrammable moments when doggie influencers made appearances at ad locations and generated highly sharable content.
So, what did Puppo learn in the process of creating this award-winning ad?
"Hyper-personalization and targeting is key when you have a niche product you are looking to advertise," Wong said. "There’s so much noise out there, so if you expect your advertisement to stand out, you must deliver creative/messaging that resonates with the people within the area you are buying media in.
Given a second chance, Wong said he would blanket more areas of New York. "We could have targeted specific dog parks, dog friendly cafes, etc." And he would add in a layer of experiential by doing sampling, organizing local community meetups through Facebook groups and/or having experts on hand to explain the importance of dog food personalization.
"Had we known how many pet owners would have wanted to take photos with their pets in front of their ads, meet with our client and sample the food, we would have made the necessary arrangements to accommodate their requests," he said.
Wong advises other to "seek out what makes your brand unique and leverage those things to appeal to your target audience. Remain authentic to your core, have a purpose, don't be afraid to think big and try new tactics."
This campaign won the Creative category in MediaPost's 2019 Creative Media Awards.