Video Marketing

New Advertising Trends: Storyscaping with Whiskas

Creating a new world for your brand through storyscaping: Whiskas case study

Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds

Gaston Legorburu and Darren McColl

Sounds pretty inspiring, right? Out with the short audio-visual blasts that typify old advertising methods, and in with telling a story with continuity, scope and perspective. The innovation in storyscaping is in creating a world for your brand, with each advert and product fitting into this schema. Rather than telling separate stories, which could easily distort a consumer’s view, everything should act as a piece of the puzzle. Gaston Legorburu and Darren McColl’s book ‘Storyscaping’ covers the technique in detail, but we’ve taken just one concrete brand case and put it under the microscope.

Starting point: The big idea

From 2015 onwards, the interest index concerning cat care questions has risen to 95/100, meaning a high demand for answers regarding cat care: from feeding tips to picking a breed. So Whiskas decided to cover these questions through storyscaping.

The aim of this campaign was to become the key point of reference for feline care online. Any marketer will tell you that getting an audience to empathise and relate goes way further than simply talking about a product. Whiskas knows that committed pet owners love their cats like their own children and that this can be used as a starting point for a powerful campaign. They present ‘Kitten Kollege’ as though the viewer is scouting for schools for their own cat.

Action: Creating a brand’s world

It’s no secret that the internet loves cats, and this advert plays into that. Combining the cute factor with feline meme referencing and the essential care tips that owners search for, Whiskas manage to deliver the informative goods wrapped in viral-worthy packaging. In this alternate world, we feel emotionally connected to the brand and entertained at the same time. There is huge value in this:

The main consumers of Whiskas products are, of course, cats, which is a slightly unusual target audience for a brand. In order to successfully market their products, Whiskas had to capture the imaginations and emotions of pet owners, showing them as the heroes of the story for making the right decisions for their pets.

In this video and in wider storyscaping practices, the brand takes on a mentor role, making room for consumers to play that heroic part. Here, for example, the video depicts several breeds of cat and their unique personalities in a nutshell, so that viewers can take on this information:

The never-ending story: Continually test and optimise your campaign

This campaign was originally planned to be shown across the United Kingdom but as the ‘Kitten Kollege’ series gained increasing traction, Whiskas decided to promote it worldwide. They optimised their video content to bring this story to life in their consumers’ imaginations, each time inviting viewers into the same schematic and strengthening brand recognition. Each episode served to colour in another part this new universe that Whiskas had created for their brand, bringing with it a blend of entertainment and real-life pet.

As a result, Whiskas had 39 million total views and a 47% increase in ad mentioning. The Kitten Kollege series was so successful that it even went beyond the target country market. In addition, the storyscaping approach left huge potential for retargeting to the audience that had made themselves familiar with the campaign. How’s that for pawsitive results?

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