OKRP Holds Pet Focus Group for Big Lots

By Erik Oster 

Chicago-based agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul has a new campaign for Big Lots, promoting its pet food and merchandise offerings with a focus group for pets.

Instead of writing a scripted ad, the agency got a group of pets together for “Pet Focus Group,” a digital video series. The videos feature moderators treating the group of pets like a focus group, with actors asking questions about Big Lots products and interacting with dogs, cats, and other pets. O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul chose to cast improvisational actors to interact with the pets, under the assumption that the animals would create funny situations on their own.


“We realized that instead of scripting this, it would be so much more fun to let pets be pets, and get really good improvisers to react in real time to whatever those animals are doing,” explains Sue Gillan, creative director at OKRP. And because you have these human facilitators in the room with the pets, they get to do the heavy lifting around uncovering the quality of the products without the event feeling commercialized. The result feels like a genuine discovery of the products.”

Stick around for “Cats Only” and “Pets with Style.”


Client: Big Lots

Agency: O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul
Chief Executive Officer: Tom O’Keefe
Chief Creative Officer: Matt Reinhard
Creative Director: Sue Gillan
Exectutive Producer: Scott Mitchell

Production Company: Community Films
Director: The Hoffman Brothers
Executive Producers: Lizzie Schwartz, Carl Swan
Producer: Francie Moore
Director of Photography: David Wilson
Production Designer: Craig Reynolds

Editing: Whiskey & Bananas
Executive Producer: Scott Mitchell
Editor: Mark Jepsen