R/GA Creates Purina Spot to Drive Web Traffic

NEW YORK With a limited budget and a tight time frame, Nestle Purina Petcare Co. turned to one of its interactive agencies, R/GA, to create a TV spot touting its new Web site for pet owners.

R/GA, based in New York, served as agency and production company on the 30-second spot, which begins by resembling a computer screen with a cursor scrolling over it. Live-action pets then appear against a white background, with copy boxes stating “Rocky, world’s best alarm clock” next to a puppy and “Stella, favorite toy, any shopping bag” next to a cat. A voiceover says, “You love them for who they are. Now there’s a place on the Web custom made for the two of you,” and goes on to describe pets.yahoo.com, a resource site for pet owners. The spot breaks Nov. 27 during NBC’s National Dog Show, which follows a broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This is the first TV commercial created by R/GA since 1999, when the company focus shifted from spots to interactive projects. For Nestle Purina, it has created Web sites for Nestle Purina brands including Cat Chow, Purina One and Tidy Cats.

“Things went pretty smooth,” said Bob Greenberg, chairman and CEO of R/GA. “It certainly indicates that we can do this as an extension of work that we’re doing for the Web, cost effectively and very well.”

Aside from shooting pets against a green screen, the ad was created digitally using desktop tools. That production technique allowed the commercial to be completed inexpensively and within a six-week time frame.

“What we liked about [the approach] was the efficiency: we were able to turn this thing around in a short amount of time, and the cost was substantially less than a typical television shoot,” said Michael Moore, director of interactive marketing for Nestle Purina, based in St. Louis.

In all, Nestle Purina Petcare Co. spent about $140 million on ads in 2002, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.