Cat's Mother or Cat's Spouse? Creating the voice of a cat food brand

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Can a copywriter boost the fortunes of a vulnerable brand simply by changing its voice? I say yes, because I've done it. This is what happened

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  • 1. The cats mother or the cats spouse? Creating the voice for a cat food brand Suzi Robinson suzi@atlas.co.uk

2. Creating the voice Can a writer boost the fortunes of a vulnerable brand simply by changing its voice? I say yes, because Ive done it. The story opens in a focus group of UK cat owners 3. Our cat is a member of the family! In every group, one person says this and the others all nod in agreement. But I had a theory that the familial relationship is not the same for all cat owners. I wanted to know what kinds of affection people feel for their cats 4. One-to-one conversations I chatted up cat owners wherever I found them I began to identify two distinct groups of cat owners I named them: Cat Mothers and Cat Spouses Let me tell you about them 5. The Cat Mothers Keen to show you the cat photos on their phone See their cats as children Never want their fur babies to grow up Not necessarily empty nesters Not exclusively female 6. Cat Mothers: Characteristics Crave their cats attention and affection Hate being ignored by their cat Squeamish about their cats hunting Love buying gifts treats and toys for their cat 7. Cat Mothers: Psychology Babying the cat gives them permission to be childish themselves, to play games and talk in silly voices Most understand the therapeutic value of these games and will tell you that it helps them cope with stress 8. The Cat Spouses Will bend your ear with a long story about something their cat did and cap it with: Our cat is such a character! Love cats for their feline qualities beauty, grace, intelligence, mystery, hunting skills, leaping, purring Dazzled by their good fortune that their cat likes them and stays living with them 9. Cat Spouses: Characteristics Treat the cat as another adult Respect cats space Do not mind being ignored Enjoy trying to guess what the cat is thinking 10. Cat Spouses: Psychology Enjoy giving the cat the power in the relationship Self-deprecating sense of humour refer to themselves as cat servants or staff Often high achievers who project their dynamic selves onto their cats Winston Churchill was a typical Cat Spouse 11. Theory into practice with GOURMET All the cat food brands Id worked on targeted Cat Mothers I needed a brief that allowed me to reflect the relationship that Cat Spouses have with their cats And eventually one came along 12. Nestle Purina GOURMET HowTo GetThe Best From Life Press Campaign 2007-2008 Agency: Beaconbrands Purina GOURMET is a super- premium wet cat food. In 2006, UK sales were suffering from low consumer awareness of the brand (10% unaided) compounded by competition from own label super-premium- look-alike products. 13. The Creative Challenge Had to convert European press campaign no budget for new photography White cat portrayed as a lifestyle accessory did not engage UK consumers No distinctive voice: Bland corporate copy did not resonate at all with UK consumers No personality, humour or charm 14. Meet Archie, role model for aspiring cats I created Archie, the nations most successful cat whose lectures in a series of full page, full colour ads introduced many thousands of up- and-coming cats to the pleasures of GOURMET fine dining 15. How Archie engages with Cat Spouses Archie behaves just like any cat sitting on peoples jumpers, playing with string but he speaks like the CEO of a FSTE 100 company Reflects peer-to-peer relationship with Cat Spouses whilst endearing himself to Cat Mothers Provides plenty of comic opportunities from dramatic irony 16. Consumer engagement Advertorials in broadsheet press discussed aspects of feline history such as:Who invented the cat flap? I gave Cat Spouses a new role - Personal Shoppers - and invited them to contribute 17. The highest form of flattery That so many consumers wrote as their cats demonstrates strong consumer engagement Here is one of my favourite letters from a typical cat spouse as dictated by her cat, LadyTabitha Golightly 18. Value of Sales grown by 25% In the first year alone, this campaign grew the value of GOURMET sales by 25% - without re-launching, price promoting or increasing distribution. 19. Brand Awareness grown to 30% And by the end of 2007, spontaneous brand awareness had grown from 10% to 30%. 20. And then I wrote a novel for all cat lovers A cast of feline characters that appeals to Cat Mothers and Cat Spouses The worlds most nutritious cat food has an unforeseen side-effect that makes it extremely valuable and in the wrong hands, very dangerous too Find out more at http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Best- Ever-Food-Formula- ebook/dp/B00CQ85XJ2 21. The only agency devoted to pet care Thank you to Rick Rowley of Beaconbrands Ltd for giving me the GOURMET brief. It was a joy to work on. www.beaconbrands.com 22. Thank you for your time Please contact me if you would like to talk about a voice for your brand, or your clients brand suzi@atlas.co.uk http://uk.linkedin.com/in /suzithewriter 23. Acknowledgements Photography credits: I have made all reasonable efforts to trace copyright owners of downloaded photographs but multiple shares have proved frustrating. If copyright owners will please contact me, I will gladly include credits or remove photographs as requested. Insights & classifications: Cat Mothers & Cat Spouses are my own creations and are not sponsored by any brand or advertising agency. At no time do I imply that one group loves their cats more than the other and this should not be inferred.