H-E-B Wags Tails With 'Pet Event'

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H-E-B Wags Tails With 'Pet Event'

By Jacqueline Barba - 10/11/2018

H-E-B supermarket just wrapped a "Pet Event" targeting current and potential pet owners with “two weeks of tail wagging deals” and cause marketing activity.

From Sept. 26 through Oct. 9, the Texas-based grocer offered $5 off any pet purchases of at least $20. The lead deal was accompanied by a slew of other offers for national brands and private labels, such as in-store coupons for 20% off all dog and cat treats, $3 off General Mills’ Blue Buffalo dry dog or cat food, and $2 off pet beds costing at least $10.

Support for the sales event comprised multiple circular features, Sept. 26 Instagram and Facebook updates (view Facebook video below), an Oct. 1 Halloween-themed email ad, a dedicated mailer, and a heb.com home page banner ad that led users to a dedicated web page within the site detailing all elements of the pet campaign. 

In stores, the pet category received more prominent positioning too. Three-sided endcaps stocking pet toys, pallets merchandising bags of Heritage Ranch by H-E-B pet food, and account-specific Blue Buffalo circular rack signs were spotted by P2PI during the campaign.

The effort also included:

  • Pet-friendly pop-up events giving away free food, treats and toys at select H-E-B Plus and H-E-B stores.
  • Dog and cat care blog posts and resources to help users “prepare for new pets” and care for pets “through every stage of their life.”

H-E-B used the opportunity to spotlight its HEBtoYou curbside and home delivery services in an Oct. 5 email blast inviting consumers to stock up on “everything you need for everyone in the house – including pets!” The email mostly plugged deals on pet goods such as $3 off select dog and cat food, while directing shoppers to dedicated e-commerce pages within hebtoyou.com.

H-E-B also added a cause element by partnering with local animal shelters and non-profit organizations to sponsor pet adoption events and cover adoption fees during the campaign. H-E-B’s sponsorships varied slightly based on location and partners. For example, in San Antonio, H-E-B teamed with Nestle-Purina to co-sponsor all adoption fees at the Animal Defense League’s “fall in love adoption special,” which took place on Oct. 6 and 7; while another event on the same weekend waived the fees for the first 100 pets. In addition, H-E-B also sponsored free spay and neuter events on Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 at veterinary clinics in San Antonio.

Multiple Instagram and Facebook updates – mostly highlighting the adoptable pets – from H-E-B and its partners promoted the adoption events, as did Facebook event pages.

H-E-B used the campaign web page to spotlight its premium Heritage Ranch by H-E-B brand, noting the retailer donates 1% of all sales of the brand to Texas shelters. H-E-B has donated $57,000 in the past year to the Austin Humane Society through the Heritage Ranch initiative, according to the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.

Despite its ongoing partnerships with Texas animal shelters and humane societies, H-E-B isn't seen as a major player in the pet category. This campaign may signal the retailer's commitment to increasing its share of pet dollars across Texas.