Mars defies Whiskas critics with latest film

Mars has brushed aside suggestions that its high-profile advertising for Whiskas catfood is not translating into higher sales and is pressing ahead with its ’catisfaction’ campaign through M&C Saatchi.

Mars has brushed aside suggestions that its high-profile

advertising for Whiskas catfood is not translating into higher sales and

is pressing ahead with its ’catisfaction’ campaign through M&C

Saatchi.



Despite the high acclaim attracted by the award-winning work, which has

been hailed as mould-breaking advertising in its category, it has also

been accused of failing to give the brand a distinctive personality.



But with the fourth film in the series breaking nationally this

Thursday, Moray MacLennan, the agency’s joint chief executive, said:

’Not only has research proved that the campaign is working, but sales

have gone up two or three percentage points.’



The new commercial features a pretty calico cat walking seductively past

her would-be tabby mate, who gives her no more than a cursory glance

before returning to his bowl of Whiskas.



Written and art directed by Kevin Thomas, the spot was directed by Roger

Woodburn through Park Village Productions. Media buying is through the

Media Centre.



’The commercials have reinvented petfood advertising as a category,’

MacLennan claimed.



’The fact is that, because people love their pets, they want petfood

advertising to be entertaining,’ he added.



The Whiskas assignment marked Maurice Saatchi’s return to the Mars

roster when his agency won the task of relaunching the brand almost a

year ago.



At the time, the Mars Pedigree Petfoods subsidiary was anxious to

recapture brand leadership for Whiskas which had been lost for the first

time to the rival catfood, Felix, owned by its biggest competitor,

Spillers.



Three months later, Pedigree was dismissive of static sales figures for

Whiskas, claiming the advertising had been well received in research and

that its aim was for long-term growth for the brand.