How Purina used a branded experience with Alexa to play the “Beggin’ Boogie”
Updated on 14 February 2023 | By: Matt Miller, Sr. Copywriter
Purina “Beggin Boogie” video ad that ran on Alexa-enabled devices.
As soon as Agador hears the words – Alexa, play “Beggin’ Boogie”, please – his fluffy, round, little auburn head perks up. Then the music starts. “Beggin’ Boogie, do the Beggin’ Boogie,” the song goes, a take on a throwback disco track. Suddenly Agador, the social-media-famous Maltipoo, is wearing sunglasses, a silver chain, and, yes, little booty shorts, while dancing to the “Beggin’ Boogie”. Since it debuted in late July, the “Beggin’ Boogie” has spread across Instagram and TikTok, with doggos dancing to the song played by Alexa before being rewarded with Purina’s Beggin’ treats for dogs.
“We have loved seeing consumers playing the ‘Beggin’ Boogie’ on Alexa and dancing with their dog,” says Daniel McGillivray, Purina’s Assistant Brand Manager for Treats Marketing. “It just starts to happen when you hear that bass line come in. You grab your four-legged friend and start dancing.”
The song and branded experience with Alexa are part of a new Purina campaign with Amazon Ads to connect with customers and their pets, and get them to play with each other using audio ads. As McGillivray explained, Beggin’ is already successful on Amazon, and this campaign was an effort to build the brand in a way that isn’t explicitly transaction-driven.
“Of course, many of the people who engage with the branded experience with Alexa have bought Beggin’ before,” McGillivray says. “This campaign helped us reach new customers and remind people that having a pet is so much fun.”
How Purina found the groove
So how does a brand create a disco song for pet owners to dance to with their furry friends? “Beggin’ is about excitement and fun,” McGillivray says. And the creative team was looking for ways to translate that and reach Amazon customers in new ways. “Beggin’ Boogie” emerged during a brainstorm on how to connect with customers and create special moments with their dogs. “Maybe it’s the alliteration or the associations people have with dancing with their pets. But as soon as that idea came up, it became a front-runner for us,” McGillivray says. From there, the team had to decide what a “Beggin’ Boogie” would actually sound like. They played around with the idea that it could be a rockabilly song. But when the creative team shared concept art for a disco-related idea, they knew they’d found a winner.
With the “Beggin’ Boogie” and Alexa at its core, Purina supported the campaign with other Amazon Ads tools. They ran audio ads on Amazon Music ad-supported tier, which informed listeners about the “Beggin’ Boogie”, and rounded out the campaign with video ads and IMDb and Fire tablet placements.
In its first three months, the “Beggin’ Boogie” has had millions of impressions across Amazon Ads products and contributed to a significant lift in new-to-brand purchases. McGillivray said the campaign also performed well above engagement benchmarks on TikTok and Instagram.
“You can do executions like this that are about creating special moments with your dog, and that pays dividends in your detail page-view rate and CPCs [cost per click],” McGillivray says. “You don’t need to think of those things as such siloed metrics.”
The takeaway, for other brands, is finding ways to experiment in this space.
Audio ads and interaction with this experience on Alexa, McGillivray said, offered a chance for the brand to engage with customers as part of their daily routine. “Alexa sits in living rooms and kitchens, and is part of everyday life,” McGillivray says. “And we know that Beggin’ is part of those daily routines as well, like dogs coming in from the bathroom and good behaviour and training.”
Purina’s “Beggin’ Boogie” audio ad
For Purina, this campaign was about pushing the boundaries of audio marketing in ways they’d never tried before and, most importantly, creating an enjoyable experience for customers and their pets. And those types of experiences have been very welcome for many consumers in the past two years.
“Everyone knows what it feels like to have been stuck at home for what feels like an eternity and to just need a break and reintroduce some novelty back into your routine,” McGillivray says. “You can take a moment, step away from conference calls and just have fun with your dog.”
And given the success of Beggin’ Boogie, McGillivray said all those fans on social media might have something more to dance to.
“The response has been really great not only in terms of media and social engagement, but also the sales lift from this campaign as well,” McGillivray says. “Do we bring in a seasonal element? Considering Christmas Boogie or Halloween Boogie or Valentine’s Boogie, the sky is really the limit.”
Certainly social media would be thrilled to see its favourite Maltipoo, Agador, dance around as Cupid or a reindeer. Just as long as all the dogs get their Beggin’.