Purina Pro Plan P5
Pro Plan is Purina’s flagship, super-premium pet food, containing the best possible nutrition they have to offer. Many dogs that rely on Pro Plan for nutrition are high-performance dogs, from show dogs to sporting dogs to military dogs.
What’s exciting about these dogs is that they elevate just how we think about pets and what they can accomplish in society. One of Pro Plan’s missions is to help pet owners give their dogs a stimulating life by helping them realize their true potential.
With this in mind, we worked with the brand to identify a core purpose. After it was funneled through the minds of their creative agency, Leo Burnett, it turned into the tagline: “Inside every good dog is a great dog.” From there, all of the brand’s actions would extend to helping pets achieve greatness. Our next step was to identify what those actions would be. That’s when we started brainstorming what would eventually become P5, which would be a natural next step after other initiatives the brand had undertaken, like the Incredible Dog Challenge and various 5K sponsorships.
Looking at Other Categories
We looked into other categories that were creating not just empowering messages, but empowering tools and experiences. We were inspired by athletics companies that were using the mobile space to provide training programs and the health monitoring devices that have been popping up lately. Why wasn’t anyone doing that for dogs? While there were a lot of YouTube training videos, there was no collection created by professionals with the authority on the subject that Purina had on hand. Their lead trainers like Tracy Custer and John Casey are world champions from Purina’s Pro Plan Performance Team.
Doing the Groundwork
Purina’s Pro Plan Performance team conducts regular dog shows at Purina Farms, in Gray Summit, MO, where the dogs run agility courses, perform flying disc tricks and dive off docks. These trainers had taken dogs, often shelter dogs who were relinquished for their high energy levels (or because they couldn’t stay out of the family’s pool), and turned them into best-in-class athletes and award-winning champions.
Our friends at Purina’s internal agency, CKMK, set out to Gray Summit, MO. to capture the training video content. They worked closely with the Pro Plan Performance team to select sports and lessons that would appeal to many types of dogs.
The trainers explained that a dog can be trained to do extraordinary things if you break the training down into slow, sequential steps. They helped us find an ambitious but safe amount of training that an average owner can do with their dog, and gave us an idea of the healthiest pace at which a dog can approach these feats. Then, they helped us create foundational levels of training for dogs that build up to more challenging and athletic training routines.
When we developed the new brand purpose, we had also developed a new visual brand language for Pro Plan. For the new look, we used colors and lines that emphasize action, motion and speed in a way that conveys performance.
We tried to depict a modern version of performance that’s less technical and masculine and more flexible and human. We designed each step to make the data as easy to access as possible without confusing people with visual clutter or textbook-style content.
Creating an Algorithm
There’s a lot of ground that’s been covered for humans that hasn’t yet been covered for dogs. We found that there was no publicly available algorithm for translating a dog’s movements into energy expenditure. For example, if a dog of a certain size is running at a certain pace, how many calories is he burning? We turned to Purina’s vast research talent, and found that their Ph. D.’s were already working on something very similar. We were able to work with them directly to create the algorithm we needed. Not many pet food brands have anywhere near that level of resources.
What we released is just the beginning of what P5 will become. We have lots of additions, improvements and added tools in development, and we can’t wait to show them to you in the future. For now, we’re exploring features and enhancements, as well as an iPad and Android version. We also plan to create a desktop interface for P5, although it may be more about content-driven analytics than a desktop management system. We’re open to hearing different people’s thoughts though. There’s no limit to what we can do next, at this point.