Helping cattle producers improve their deworming efforts

Merck Animal Health: SAFE-GUARD

How understanding cognitive anchors helped us change cattle producer deworming habits.


Cattle producers know deworming is important for keeping their herds healthy. For decades, producers have dewormed their cattle with ivermectin, which now is less effective than it once was. We wanted to show producers that using SAFE-GUARD® (fenbendazole) in conjunction with ivermectin was the best way to improve their deworming efforts.

Merck Animal Health Safe-Guard Product
Merck Animal Health Safe-Guard


Data for the cattle dewormer market showed that tapping into the ivermectin user was a big business opportunity. Turns out, cattle producers are prone to sticking with old practices. So switching them from ivermectin was going to be difficult with habit and time anchoring them to it. Gleanings from focus groups identified a better option – educating producers on best practices that they only thought they were following. This presented the opportunity to tout the benefits of SAFE-GUARD without having to knock the product producers were currently using.

Merck Animal Health Safe-Guard Campaign Print Ads


Studies show the most effective way to take out parasites is to use two dewormers from two different drug classes, so we decided we would tell producers it’s perfectly OK to use ivermectin – but to add SAFE-GUARD to the mix for the strongest results. This way, they could continue treating with a familiar and trusted product, but also achieve better outcomes. 

Since producers weren’t looking for a new way to deworm, we wanted to make sure their busy brains didn’t skip over our message. By grabbing their attention with impactful and downright scary parasite visuals that came with a side of best practices, we were positioned to help Merck Animal Health contribute to helpful parasite control protocols.

Merck Animal Health Safe-Guard Campaign Banner Ads


By delivering highly targeted messaging to highly targeted audiences, our digital banners have performed strongly. And with the launch of an updated SAFE-GUARD web page that continues to drive the message, we’ve seen significant new traffic that stays to take in additional content.



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Merck Animal Health Safe-Guard Monstrous Parasites

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