Effie Case Study: “Doggie Days of Summer”

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Effie Case Study: “Doggie Days of Summer”

By Ed Finkel - 09/14/2020

Marketer: J.M. Smucker Co.

Agency: IN Connected Marketing

Effie Commerce & Shopper Category: Seasonal/Event (Finalist)

The J.M. Smucker Co. worked with IN Connected Marketing on the “Doggie Days of Summer” campaign, which succeeded in standing out from the pack to drive conversion in the dog food category and grow Smucker brands among Walmart shoppers.

Research had shown that more than half of the Walmart shoppers who own dogs were buying food for their pets at other stores, while many who did purchase at Walmart were choosing the key competitors of Smucker brands.

Based on the notion that summer brings a change in mindset among shoppers – an increased sense of adventure, exploration and spontaneity – Smucker and IN Connected figured it was the perfect time to get Walmart shoppers to break out of their routines, including the way they bought on autopilot in the dog food category.

The “Doggie Days of Summer” campaign came to life through an omnichannel experience. The campaign leaned heavily on pre-shop moments to bring shoppers to the category, engaging with them over paid social media along with ads through Walmart Media Group and offsite media to ensure that the brand messaging broke through.

To strategize, Smucker and IN Connected drew from both primary research and Walmart shopper data to target three segments of pet parents: “The Flavor Fanatic,” who focuses on taste for their dog; “The Fueler,” who is health and wellness-focused; and “The Nourisher,” who looks for a balance of taste and quality. They scrutinized each of these groups to determine their purchase patterns, how they enjoy summer, and how they take care of their dog.

The campaign partners collaborated with both Walmart and contributing agency ViacomCBS Shopper to meticulously select social influencers who captured the persona of each segment and whose voice resonated with Walmart shoppers.

This program positioned Smucker brands as “flavorful fuel” for summer fun, creating relevant, sharable video content and showcasing dogs in all their summer glory with tailored influencer messaging based on the preferences of each segment (for example, those who regularly visit dog parks).

Based on the original goal of driving traffic and conversion for Smucker brands and the overall category at Walmart, the partners measured through conversion and trip KPIs. They succeeded in driving Walmart shoppers to choose Smucker brands over competitors at the retailer, helped grow the entire pet food category, boosted the number of category trips for those already buying there, and exceeded their own brand KPIs – all resulting in a positive return on investment.

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