Chuckit

A PR & social media ‘game-changer’ for Chuckit! Toys UK

Social Media agency

Chuckit! has a range of brightly coloured, dynamic, high-quality dog toys. They are also home to the most powerful ball launchers in the world!

Brief

spottydog was briefed by Chuckit! in 2016 as it was due to launch its range of products in the UK. As a hugely successful brand in the US, the challenge was to replicate its success among a new audience of dog owners and pet retailers.

Action

Starting with a blank slate, we leant into our vast experience in the pet sector. Our goal was to make Chuckit! the must-have dog toy for dogs to own and for pet retailers to stock. We wanted to create a buzz among pet owners, so pet shops simply had to stock the product.

Our top considerations included:

  • Lack of imagery — while we had a small bank of US imagery, we needed to find a way to quickly and efficiently develop a bank of authentic, UK-based imagery to help showcase the fun of owning a Chuckit! toy
  • Social media — we recognised that social media was going to be a powerful tool for to generate reach and engagement, with a huge community of dog owners to tap into
  • Sampling — these toys needed to be tried to be believed. Dogs love them, and we needed to show people this was true, not just tell them

Key to our strategy was to put the distinctive orange and blue balls in the hands (and paws) of influential figures, including pet influencers, the pet press and dog charities.

Our primary focus was a campaign that we coined ‘The Chuckit! Challenge’.

We developed the campaign as a PR vehicle to drive brand awareness, social media growth and engagement. To generate high-profile interest, we selected a pool of popular canine influencers to send the products to, giving them no excuse not to enter the challenge.

Entrants were required to submit photos and videos of their pooches with their favourite Chuckit! products to their own social media channels using the required hashtag. This created organic testimonials and user-generated photography to use across social media channels as well as credible third-party endorsements for their products. The entries are then whittled down to a shortlist of three, with the public voting for their ultimate Chuckit! Challenge champion — creating some healthy competition!

Using the world’s biggest dog show, Crufts, as a launchpad, enlisting the help of celebrity canine judges and with incredible prizes up for grabs, the challenge was a highlight in the Chuckit! calendar.

In addition to the campaign, we supported Chuckit! with a range of additional tactics and campaigns across our four-year partnership:

  • National Fetch Day — we hosted an event for our influencer community to celebrate this national day. With games, a photoshoot, food, and goodie bags filled with their favourite Chuckit! toys, we created some unique content and further solidified the brand’s relationship with top canine influencers
  • Christmas Gift Guides — we tapped into our journalist network, ensuring that Chuckit! appeared in doggy gift guides throughout the Christmas season, from the specialist pet press to mainstream media
  • Charity donations — we helped resuce dogs have a special Chuckit! Christmas, too, with donations to a national dog charity. This created some beautiful story-led content that was shared across the press and via social media

Result

The Chuckit! Challenge proved successful year-on-year in providing news value as well as increasing brand awareness on social media. Some highlights include spottydog delivering 40 pieces of coverage in six months, over 13,000 votes in the challenge, 717 entries, national press coverage in titles such as Your Dog Magazine, endorsement from canine influencers, bringing new followers to the Chuckit! social channels and creating exciting conversations with existing fans.

Chuckit! is now available in most UK pet shops, with thousands of the orange and blue toys sold every year.