In the early 90s the UK petfood market was dominated by the big three of Pedigree Petfoods, Spillers Foods and Quaker Foods. Edward Bakers Petfoods (EBP) was a small player focusing in just one part of the market, complete dry dog foods. It faced some big challenges - not only was the dog food market shrinking, but growth in the dry foods sector was slowing.

Bakers Complete was relaunched in 1995 with a revised packaging and a revised formula. Burkitt DDB's brief was to convince sceptical consumers that their dogs would enjoy dry food, that it provided proper nutrition and to create a personality for the brand.

The agency targeted C1/C2 housewives aged 25-45 with children. Their pets would not be pampered pooches and they would appreciate the health and hygiene benefits of dry food.

It created a brand 'spokesdog' in the shape of Pippin, and determined strict rules governing behaviour. Over the next seven-year period consumers became involved with the character.

In 1999 Bakers growth had made it the number one complete dry dog food, and the UK's sixth largest dog food brand. The campaign has seen consistent sales growth and Bakers sold £23.3m worth of dry food in 2001. In 2000 Bakers grew by £3.2m despite the dry food market shrinking.

The increasing value of the Bakers Complete brand has been cited as a reason for the takeover of EBP by Ralston Purina in 1997 and Nestle's decision to purchase Ralston Purina Northern Europe in 2000.


Campaign: From Underdog to Top Dog

Agency: Burkitt DDB

Client: Nestle Purina Pet Care

Creative Director: Jon Canning, Steve Chetham

Art Director: Chris Owens

Copywriter: Dave Newbold

Film Director: Mick Rudman

Advertising Manager: Annette Hayes, James Knott

Authors: David Simoes-Brown, Susan Poole, Paul Warwick


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