2012 was Pro Plan's first year as the exclusive sponsor of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, having seized the high-profile sponsorship from rival Pedigree. Still, Pro Plan was already well known on the show circuit, having fed 88 of the top 100 American show dogs and all of the last six Best-in-Show Champions. Arc Worldwide/Leo Burnett decided to use the great dogs at Westminster to help prove a larger point: that inside every good dog is a great dog.
While most leading show dogs are fed Pro Plan, it was important that everyday people see that the brand wasn't just for primped and pampered show dogs. The brand wanted to help highly-engaged dog owners who buy premium dog food understand that this food could help their dogs achieve greatness, just like the dogs at Westminster.
The promotion revolved around creating 185 stories capturing the unique origin and purpose of every breed represented at Westminster. All the most popular breeds compete there, so this meant the message also represented the vast majority of dogs at home. The stories were made accessible via ads, Facebook apps and mobile. At the event, out-of-home media on buses, posters, marquees and other signage drove attendees to discover the stories.
Online media let the at-home viewing audience discover their dog's greatness. In addition, a music video run during the show's broadcast featured an original song written from the point of view of a dog who wants to be great, paired with footage of real dogs who were great for all kinds of reasons. The video ran only seven times on television, but received over 400,000 views online.
Overall, 98% of viewers chose not to skip a single second of the video when it was used as an online ad. The promotion drew 30,000 new likes to Pro Plan's Facebook page the week the promotion launched, an increase of 400%, and drew 150,000 visits to Westminster-related apps.
After the show, there were two conversations: the typical one about this year's Champion dog, and a new conversation, via Twitter, blogs, and the media, about the overwhelmingly positive, emotional reaction to the work that aired during the broadcast.