Usually, the last thing a marketer would want is for their ad to send viewers to sleep. But for its latest campaign, Mars Petcare brand Sheba created exactly that.
The brand is appealing to "cat parents" who find it hard to go back to sleep after their kitties' early-morning yowls. Sleep has been an issue for many of us during the pandemic due to the multiple reasons, but Sheba points out that cat owners are particularly at risk of 4am interruptions as "cats are crepuscular creatures and are notoriously more active and hungry in the early morning hours."
With this in mind, the brand and agency AMV BBDO developed a five hour video (available on YouTube and social media) created based on insights into sleep aids– including body scans, ASMR voices, calm visual effects, meditation and soothing colors. The agency worked in collaboration with behavioral sleep therapist Donna Fairly and Renata Riha, a sleep physician from the University of Edinburgh.
While we're sure other sleep-deprived people could benefit (new parents of babies, or people with noisy neighbors perhaps?) there's a particular feline/catfood slant to the content, with cat purring noises, plus images of cats' eyes and "loads of salmon" at one point leaping through a stream if you want to watch as well as listen. Sheba has also created a Spotify playlist of soothing lullabies to help you drift off.
"It goes against everything a traditional marketing campaign would normally be," said Neil Clarke, creative director at AMV BBDO, in a statement. “Buying media at 4 a.m. so only those who are awake will see it; targeting sleep-deprived cat owners on social media; creating a Spotify podcast to help you drift off – it’s a playful approach and the more people we can send to sleep, the better.”