Purina’s “Dear Kitten” Video Series Proves BuzzFeed Is The Cat’s Pajamas For Content Marketers
Five questions with the brand's Director of Content on how the viral video hit has generated more than 50 million views.
After working with BuzzFeed since 2012, Purina hit the content marketing lottery last year with its “Dear Kitten” sponsored video series.
According to Rick Spiekermann, director of content, community management and partnerships for Nestle’ Purina PetCare, the original “Dear Kitten” video has surpassed 21 million views and continues to grow organically.
“Dear Kitten has grown into a franchise, with 50 million+ views across seven episodes and multiple distribution platforms,” says Spiekermann, “Audiences around the world love Dear Kitten and we’ve seen significant positive increases in our consumer testing.”
Positioning Purina as content marketing superstars, the much loved cat video series made the ultimate leap into television advertising during this year’s Super Bowl when Purina partnered with BuzzFeed to create a 60-second spot that ran in three regional markets during Super Bowl XLIX.
Leading Purina’s content marketing efforts, Spiekermann took the time to share how his brand works with BuzzFeed, and what he has learned about his audience from the success of the “Dear Kitten” video series.
Purina Petcare’s Rick Spiekermann Talks Content Marketing, Viral Videos & BuzzFeed
Amy Gesenhues: Can you give me a quick overview of how your marketing team is structured?
Rick Spiekermann: Purina has a Brand Management organization that supports every Purina brand of pet food, snacks and litter.
Brand directors and managers lead content for their brand and deserve the credit for creative and marketplace success.
Amy Gesenhues: What was the creative process for the “Dear Kitten” campaign?
Rick Spiekermann: Purina works with BuzzFeed like any strategic communication partner.
The brand provides a brief led by brand objectives steeped in consumer and brand insights. BuzzFeed concepts and iterates the content in partnership with the appropriate Purina brand team and then we move to production.
The process for development is the same for video and editorial posts.
Amy Gesenhues: Where does BuzzFeed rank when it comes to Purina’s content marketing efforts?
Rick Spiekermann: BuzzFeed is one of many new strategic content partners, including innovators such as SoulPancake, the Fine Brothers and social influencers that are reinventing content on video centric platforms from YouTube to Vine.
“Kitten Therapy: The Prescription for Stress” from the popular YouTube channel SoulPancake:
Amy Gesenhues: What have you learned about your audience from your results on BuzzFeed?
Rick Spiekermann: A key learning is brands are more elastic in today’s world than previously believed. New creators, including BuzzFeed, help us reimagine how to build brands.
Great content can travel across platforms and two of Purina’s digital first videos evolved into TV campaigns. BuzzFeeds’ “Dear Kitten Regarding the Big Game” ran on TV during the winter and YouTube’s Jash created the rap-inspired “Get Beggin’” for Purina Beggin’ that ran during the 2015 Grammys.
Amy Gesenhues: What would you recommend to a brand that may be considering advertising on BuzzFeed, but hasn’t yet made the leap?
Rick Spiekermann: World class brands are built of deep consumer and brand insights.
Purina has a long history of creating popular content on traditional platforms, and continues to get outstanding work from partners there, partners that have been with us in some cases for decades.
We take the same approach with emerging content partners: encourage risk-taking and new partners will deliver great work and teach your people innovative ways to create and distribute content.
Purina’s original “Dear Kitten” video that started it all: