Hearts Aligned, Marketing Aligned – Pedigree Demonstrates how IMC Should be Done.

The latest marketing campaign from Pedigree continues the success of the brand’s Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), and illustrates the level of brand trust and brand equity well-strategised IMC can deliver.

Hearts Aligned is the name of the campaign BBDO Clemenger created for Pedigree, the leading dog food brand by Mars. It takes the form of an emotionally charged video, made available on YouTube, which makes use of a recent study that proves the health benefits and physiological bonds that dogs provide humans and vice verser.

Pedigree doesn’t stop there though. The campaign is extended to social media network Facebook, encouraging dog owners to share their photos (and hopefully the Pedigree video as well) and include the hashtag #HeartsAligned. Every photo shared will generate a $1 dollar donation from Pedigree to Pet Rescue, a national non-profit that finds homes for shelter dogs, of up to $20,000 until the end of May.



What is IMC?

IMC or Integrated Marketing Communications is a fairly contemporary approach to strategic marketing and has brought about many changes to what is known as traditional marketing (Chitty, Barker and Shimp, 2008). These changes include a focus on more targeted marketing campaigns and communication, less reliance on mass media advertising, and increased measurement of marketing ROI.

In essence IMC emphasises the need for a brand to ‘deliver a consistent message’ through all its communication (Chitty, Barker and Shimp, 2008). This is best achieved by considering all elements of the marketing mix – promotion, price, product and place – to successfully develop a homogenous marketing strategy and accomplish maximum communications impact (Belch and Belch, 2007).

Pedigree’s campaigns over the last decade illustrate that in fact IMC doesn’t end with the marketing mix. The best IMC strategies infiltrate every ‘nook and cranny’ of the brand. This notion is becoming more and more important with the rise of social media, the consumer demand for brand transparency, and the increasing need for brands to creatively cut through the noise of today’s market.

Hearts Aligned Pedigree Campaign

The Hearts Aligned campaign from Pedigree resonates with pet owners.

IMC is More Than Marketing

Dog food is a competitive market where many consumers shop based on price. In 2007 Pedigree released a marketing campaign that highlighted the very bleak reality of the number of dogs that are in shelters and without a loving home. The brand pledged to donate to a dog shelter with every purchase, and ultimately raised $1.7million for the cause. The success of this campaign would influence Pedigree campaigns to come, and build the brand’s image to what it is today.

Not only was Pedigree able to tap into the emotions of pet owners everywhere, but they discovered the positioning that would set them apart from any other dog food. Pedigree’s overall IMC, including the most recent Hearts Aligned campaign, consistently communicates with consumers that Pedigree is a brand that cares about dogs of all kinds.

Pedigree strategically communicate and market through targeted channels. Through social media platforms Facebook and YouTube, Pedigree are able to talk directly to their consumers and tap into the community of dog lovers, increasing their Word of Mouth marketing. The ‘PEDIGREE Found’ dog finder app creatively made use of another direct marketing channel, once again using relevance and the consistent to connect with their customers.

While consistent messaging communicated strategically through targeted channels does increase brand loyalty, awareness and sales (Iacobucci, 2013; Luxton et al., 2015), it is Pedigree’s ability to see their messaging right through from start to finish. As Chris Mondzelewski, Vice President of Marketing for Pedigree describes it, they have a ‘backbone’ to their marketing. He states, ‘We’re not going to go out and create campaigns about shelters and dogs doing good unless we’re doing all these things behind the scenes to make sure dogs are finding loving homes’.  It is this very attitude and value system which infiltrates the Pedigree business that resonates with consumers and truly delivers effective IMC, supported by a 40% increase in advertising effectiveness since they took on this approach.

By Felicity Boath – 211000943


Beer, J. May, 2015. Fast Co Create, ‘How Pedigree Turned Doing Good for Dogs into Good Marketing for Dog Food’. Available at http://www.fastcocreate.com/3046691/behind-the-brand/how-pedigree-turned-doing-good-for-dogs-into-good-marketing-for-dog-food Accessed on 5 May 2016.

Belch, G, E and Belch, M, A. (2007). Advertising and Promotion – An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Chitty, W., Barker, N. and Shimp, T. (2008). Integrated marketing communications. South Melbourne, Vic.: Cengage Learning Australia.

Iacobucci, D. (2013). MM4. Ohio: Cengage.

Kang, J and Hustvedt, G. (2014). Building Trust Between Consumers and Corporations: The Role of Consumer Perceptions of Transparency and Social Responsibility, ‘J Bus Ethics’, 125, pp253-265.

Luxton, S, Reid, M, and Mavondo, F. (2015). Integrated Marketing Coomunication Capability and Brand Performance, ‘Journal of Advertising’, 44, pp 37-46.

Ricki. April, 2016. Campaign Brief, ‘Pedigree Shows How Dogs Can Reduce Stress as Hearts Align in New Initiative via Clems Melbourne’,available at http://www.campaignbrief.com/2016/04/pedigree-shows-how-dogs-can-re.html Accessed on 5 May 2016.

The Fundraising Journal, (2010), ‘Case Study: Pedigree Uses Cause Marketing to Strengthen Their Brand’. Available at http://www.thefundraisingjournal.com/Archive/1006/case-study_pedigree.html Accessed on 9 may 2015.


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