The 'feed the good' campaign by BBDO and will launch in Australia and Brazil before being rolled out in additional markets, including the US and Europe, later in the year and into 2016.
The campaign concept was created in BBDO’s New York office, with different BBDO agencies creating the country-specific executions. It is BBDO’s first global campaign for Pedigree since winning the business in 2011 and follows global executions by BBDO on other Mars brands, like Snickers' "you're not you when you're hungry".
Leonid Sudakov, the chief marketing officer for Mars Global Petcare, said the genesis of the campaign went back to 1947 and Forrest Mars Sr.’s one-page document that discussed, among other things, "mutuality of benefits".
More recently, Sudakov said, it comes after a five-year study commissioned by Mars Petcare about the benefits of dog ownership, which include helping people recover from depression and supporting the social capital of communities.
"Why Pedigree?" Sudakov asked rhetorically. "Because it’s by far the leader in pet nutrition in the world and can significantly expand each dog’s life span. We feed more than 100 million dogs a year.
The campaign breaks with a TV spot, called "the good fight", which airs in Australia on 4 May. The ad, which was created by Clemenger BBDO, opens on two men who are about to fight until they spot a dog that’s wandered into the middle of the road and they both rush to help it.
In Brazil the campaign, which was created by Almap BBDO, will begin with an online documentary about two ex-cons who begin to turn their lives around after adopting dogs.
Sudakov said it was particularly important that the campaign break early in an emerging market like Brazil to buck the assumption that "only people in developed markets could accept emotional advertising and that developing countries suited more functional advertising".
"That meant a lot to me coming from an emerging market, myself," he added.
In addition to TV ads, the campaign across the world will include online, print, social media and PR executions, as well as collaborations with companies like Google.
Earlier this month Pedigree announced it had created an app with Google, called Found, which allowed dog owners to send out alerts to help them locate their missing pet. The app, which is only available in New Zealand, was created by Colenso BBDO Auckland.