To disrupt the global flea and tick market—and upstage the market leader—Merck Animal Health needed a new and unexpected approach to launch the first extended duration parasite treatment.
Bravecto—Merck Animal Health’s newest flea and tick treatment—had the potential to transform the pet market by extending protection against parasites from 4 weeks to 12. This scientific breakthrough represented the first real category innovation in over a decade, but it came in a field dominated by short-duration, over-the-counter alternatives and mediocre advertising.
This left us with a real challenge: how could we make a meaningful splash at launch that would shift purchasing behaviors in a market that already had a playbook for treating parasites?
Our research process led us to a simple but compelling truth—it is the moments of affection we share with our pets that really matter. Our “expect the extraordinary” campaign grew out of this idea and elevated Bravecto using extraordinary characters and scenarios.
Our creative brought together unique individuals from all walks of life—ranging from a punk rocker and her cat to a surfing grandad and his dog. We then executed a sophisticated digital marketing campaign to ensure that the brand experiences were just as exceptional as the scenes we depicted.
Digitally enabled B2B2C
With a prescription-only route to market in many key territories, we tailored brand activity and demand generation for both veterinary and pet owner audiences. The campaign was digital-first and included branded websites for each region, segmented landing pages, vet apps, email nurtures, and interactive sales tools. But it went further than that, also integrating traditional in-clinic materials to increase veterinary engagement and a social influencer campaign to excite pet owners.
To support rollout in key markets, we seamlessly transitioned from a global role to facilitate campaigns with local teams. Our ability to integrate online and offline channels and bridge the gap between brand development and demand generation helped Merck build a global brand with the scale to genuinely disrupt the market.
Influencer partnerships helped us to extend Bravecto’s reach into the lives of pet owners and drive meaningful engagement. With Pancho, a yoga performing chihuahua, and his owner Nic, we had an extraordinary duo with cult YouTube status to spearhead our organic social activity.
Nic and Pancho became the face of an Extraordinary Pet competition, with owners submitting images to Facebook and Instagram for the chance to win branded merchandise and a subscription to the pet-treat service BarkBox.
The Vet Tech Program
Extending things to yet another audience, our Vet Tech Program activated a previously untapped resource by contributing to the professional development of veterinary technicians.
From our research process, we knew these unsung heroes wanted to play a more active role in care delivery, so we nurtured this ambition with an accredited training program in parasite control.
Inspiring and empowering front-line staff to confidently engage pet owners unlocked new revenue opportunities for veterinary practices through the sale of flea and tick treatments and mobilized a legion of well-informed brand ambassadors for Bravecto.
Our strategic partnership, creativity, and innovation in crafting memorable experiences has helped Bravecto to enjoy a meteoric global rise and superstar status in the Merck Animal Health portfolio.
- Bravecto became the #1 flea and tick product in Europe within a year of launch
- Post-brand launch sales grew from $74 million to $600 million
- Projected to be a $1 billion per year product