How Dead Bugs Helped Drive Empathy With Horse Owners

W.F. Young: UltraShield

2 FIRST PLACE AWARDS – REGIONAL BEST OF NAMA AWARDS

MERIT AWARD – NATIONAL BEST OF NAMA AWARDS

BRONZE AWARD – NAVC VETTY AWARDS

How dead bugs helped drive empathy (and purchase) with horse owners.

THE CHALLENGE

We were tasked with helping our partners at W.F. Young sell Absorbine UltraShield®, a spray used to kill bugs that feast on horses. But the insecticide/repellent market is crowded, making it difficult to stand out among the competition.

 

THE HUMAN INSIGHT

Ideas that speak truth to consumers are the ones that most often resonate. For UltraShield, that meant showing horse owners that flies and biting insects aren’t just a nuisance, but can also inflict serious damage on horses. We then provided a valuable solution along with a few equine insider chuckles to help cement the brand connection in their brains.

THE IDEA

Incorporating photography of dead insects into lighthearted illustrations, we developed a campaign starring bloodsucking flies, ticks and mosquitoes while highlighting their ambitions of devouring horses. All thwarted, of course, thanks to UltraShield. We dialed up the rapport by matching universal equestrian truths to the unique benefits of the product to create vignettes that evoke empathy, humor and purchase – all through the insects’ own words.

We invited consumers to submit their own insect dialogue for a chance at free and discounted product.

We worked to get the clever-yet-informational message in front of socially-savvy horse owners when they checked their phone, visited their favorite websites and checked their inboxes.

We closed the loop at retail, ensuring horse owners saw campaign elements in the stores they frequented for feed, tack and other supplies. We wanted to be both amusing (with a dash of shock) and educational, grabbing attention while consumers made purchase decisions in real-time.

THE RESULTS

Following rave reviews and a significant double-digit increase in sales, our W.F. Young partners have already started planning on extending the campaign.


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