Purina dog
A decade ago Alchemetrics went to Cannes. Why, you may ask – as did many of the people we met. What business did a company specialising in customer data platforms have at a festival celebrating creativity? Bear in mind this was six years before the Creative Use of Data Lions were launched. Clearly we were way before our time. But our early conviction of the importance of data is now common place. Purina’s winning campaign is testament to this.

Research showed that in France more than one million dogs do not receive the recommended annual health check; resulting in the needless pain, suffering and in some instances; death, of thousands of our canine friends. To solve this problem Purina came up with an innovative way of diagnosing doggy illness – Street Vet.

Street Vet is a series of billboards located around parks in Paris. The signs release pheromones to attract dogs – and what dog can resist the lure of peeing on a pillar? The billboard then analyses the urine in real time and the results are displayed on the screen. If the test reveals small imbalances a diet prevention plan is suggested, whilst if a deeper medical check-up is required pet owners can download the results and take them to a vet for further investigation. On the surface of it this campaign is incredibly creative. However, it is pretty pointless if Purina receives nothing in return from the dog owner, other than good faith. There is no way to measure if the billboards have forged a relationship, changed behaviour or sold any product. The key, of course, is in the value exchange. Purina asks for contact details in order to email the results/diet plan and therefore receives valuable customer data in return for providing personalised health information. This data can then be used to establish a relationship with the owner, which can then be used to build a 1-2-1 dialogue with individual pet owners about the specific needs of their dog. For instance an owner’s dog that has been diagnosed with diabetes can be sent a diet designed specifically for that condition along with a money-off voucher to encourage purchase. A series of communications can be tailored around the well-being of the pet.

Data is the real hero of this campaign – it is enduring and if well managed can form the foundations of many campaigns to come. Understanding how to make the most of the information in a compliant manner is ultimately what won this award for Purina.

If you want to know and understand more about the way data is changing the world you live in, or would like to know how data can add value to your business, please email me at david.gurney@alchemetrics.co.uk


Dave Gurney

CEO, Alchemetrics - Expert in Data & Digital Marketing
enabling senior marketers to value from engaging customers online.