Frontline Combo is identified from the brand’s point of view with the external anti-parasite segment for dogs and cats as Adidas defines the shoe sport.
A mix of constant initiative and promotional activities contributed to the consolidation of the Frontline Combo brand. In this respect, the TV campaigns run each year in April-May – the hottest period for external anti-parasite products – were a defining factor in the Frontline Combo’s brand construction.
As a commercial manager at Veteco since 2010 I was responsible for defining the communication’s strategy and implementing the full promotion mix for Frontline Combo (TV, online, specialized publications, merchandising etc.).
Independently of Veteco, Merial was rolling out every two years market surveys to reveal the level of the main brand indicators: awareness, top of mind and others.
My direct task was to continue to consolidate the Frontline Combo brand, a difficult task given that in 2010 Frontline Combo had reached exceptional results in terms of brand indicators.
As the TV campaign was one of the most important communication vectors, I started the evaluation of the TV campaigns developed before my coming in Veteco.
I had noticed Veteco’s collaboration with McCann to develop media campaigns and I appreciated the dedication, proactivity and interest of our partner. For this reason we continued our fruitful collaboration.
However, from this analysis I quickly realized that there were areas that could be improved to optimize the impact of the TV campaign among dog and cat owners, our target.
This optimization aimed to correlate to a deeper level the TV campaign with the behaviours and expectations of our clients.
In this sense, I made several changes to the TV campaign plan.
If previously the TV campaign used only long spots (25-30 seconds), I considered that, given the fact the Frontline Combo had reached a high degree of notoriety, it was not wise to “tell the whole story” to our clients, but it was more effective to improve the frequency with which we delivered this story. So we switched to a mix of TV spots dominated by short spots of 10-15 seconds.
If before the TV campaign was delivered in a single block of 5-6-7 weeks, I decided to fragment the campaign into sequences of 2/3 week campaign + 1 week break + 2/3 weeks campaign + 1 break + 2 week campaign + 1 break + 1 week campaign. In this way, we extended our communication period until mid-July, without the message being perceived as dilute by customers. This had a direct impact on sales to veterinary practices and pharmacies and pet shops because it has allowed us to exploit the presence of the TV campaign for a longer period.
Last but not least, I looked closely at the affinity index in relation to our target for the stations / shows / programs where our spots were broadcasted and I made adjustments where the situation was demanding so.
In all these activities, I was obviously seconded by McCann’s media specialists who reviewed the media plans in line with new reach targets, frequency, etc.
In 2012, Merial, independently of Veteco, conducted a market study that showed a 69% increase in the impact of the TV campaign related to dog and cat owners compared to the figures obtained in the previous study in early 2010.
As 2010 and 2011 TV campaigns were the first campaigns broadcasted in an optimized way, I may consider that this new approach made a direct contribution to the exceptional outcomes highlighted by the 2012 market study.
Even if things work and results are good, as a commercial, marketing or communication manager it is necessary to constantly optimize the promotion mix. It is an investment that you and your company do to support sales and it also depends directly on you if 1 euro allocated to the communication budget brings 2 euros or 3 euros to the company’s sales.
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