Cute doggos star in Open Farm’s TV debut

Who: Open Farm with Signal by Taxi (the agency’s strategic design and technology practice), Eggplant Music & Sound, and The Faculty. Media by Kingstar Media.

What: “Unique Pet, Unique Meal,” the premium pet food brand’s first-ever TV campaign.

When & Where: The campaign launched last week, with a :30 and a :15 running through June. Ads are running across several national specialty channels, including TSN, Sportsnet, HGTV and W Network. It’s aimed at a wide audience, with a core of females 25-54.

Why: It’s about increasing consumer awareness of the ethically sourced pet food brand, which launched in Toronto in 2013 and has since grown its retail footprint to more than 5,500 specialty pet stores across North America. Its store sales are being augmented by a growing direct-to-consumer business launched about four years ago.

The campaign comes as pet ownership has exploded during the pandemic, with Open Farm looking to capitalize on both the rise in new pet owners and increased brand-switching within the category. Open Farm’s vice-president of marketing, Evan Shuster, said that the company identified 2021 as a year to accelerate awareness—particularly since its focus on ethically sourced ingredients aligns with people’s attitudes towards the food they are consuming themselves.

“Every pet parent wants to feed their pet the best food, and we think Open Farm should be that solution,” said Shuster. “We are moving from a position of being a niche brand delivering on very specific values, to realizing that they are values that—when told in a story that is simple and clear—really resonate with millions of pet parents.”

How: Doggos in all of their gluttonous glory are the stars here, with the ad featuring a series of unique-looking canines—including a Chinese crested named Jacques; a blue merle pomsky named Macchiato and a bull terrier named Phoenix—all chowing down on Open Farm’s wide assortment of products. 

The focus is on presenting Open Farm’s varied product assortment catering to pets of all different types and dietary needs. The 30-second spot, “Unique,” is designed to showcase how Open Farm’s product assortment—which includes more than 100 SKUs across seven product categories—enables pet owners to create tasty meals for pets that are as distinctive as the pets themselves. The 15-second ad features a pair of pugs who appear identical, separated only by differing dietary needs.

And we quote: “Bringing our messages to Canadians via TV spots is the next step in our brand’s evolution. It allows us to captivate and engage existing and to-be pet parents, as we share our unique brand story with them: For every unique pet, there is a unique pet meal from Open Farm.” — Evan Shuster, vice-president of marketing, Open Farm.

Chris Powell