Premium pet food producer Royal Canin has chosen Cundari to be its Canadian agency of record after an agency review this summer.
The pet products company, headquartered in France but with a major manufacturing centre in Guelph, Ont., produces a variety of premium dog and cat foods tailored to pets’ breed, weight and age. It’s known for its fastidious, scientific approach to pet nutrition and maintain a higher price point than most competitors.
“Having been to a lot of food plants, I would even say [Royal Canin] is more stringent than food companies in terms of the care that they put into the product,” said Andrew Simon, chief creative officer at Cundari. Anyone who takes a tour of Royal Canin’s Guelph plant “becomes a believer,” he added.
Royal Canin has, until recently, been marketed almost exclusively to veterinary professionals and breeders. Now the brand wants to spread its message to consumers, said Simon. That will involve developing a social media presence and innovative traditional and digital campaigns on a cost-sensitive marketing budget.
Founded by a veterinarian in 1968, Royal Canin is successful in Europe and has made significant headway in the North American market as a premium brand sold at animal hospitals and pet specialty stores. From 2007 to 2011, the company’s global pet care value share grew to 1.7% from 1.3%. In 2011, it had global sales of US$1.51 billion.
Cundari’s win follows on the heels of becoming AOR for 3M Canada just last week. Although Cundari doesn’t have a history of working with pet brands, the agency does a lot of work with pet charities, which makes the two companies a great fit philosophically, Simon said.
It’s a brand story that Simon is excited to tell. “For us it’s not just about gaining new business. It’s about working with the kinds of companies that we really want to keep, that are doing exciting things and that have wonderful products and wonderful stories.”
The independently owned agency adds Royal Canin to a roster of clients that includes BMW and the Ivey Business School at Western University.