The nature of the beast

Posted by Steve on Feb 24th 2014 in: Pot luck, The art of packaging: emotional response

Felix and Whiskas cat food on a Supermarket Shelf

I could write a book about the nature of the emotional bonds between humans and their pets, but this seemed to capture it nicely (at least for women and cats): ‘There’s something deeply fulfilling about knowing that, even in a complicated and often unkind world, you’ve managed to create a pocket of perfect security and bliss for at least one small creature.’

Not surprisingly that one small creature is also the hero of nearly all pet food packaging, meaning that brands compete on how best to capture these emotions. Of course not all cats are going to look like the one you choose to represent your brand, but a lot can behave like him (or her). Felix and Whiskas seem to be happy to divide the market into boy/girl characteristics, offering pink purr-fection versus energetic scampishness. But in a market where food form, ingredients, age-related health benefits and even cooking style (did you say ‘steamed’?) are also important, finding the balance between emotion, information and brand credibility is challenging.

I used to think the food shot was a waste of space, but not after reading this from the same blog: ‘Homer just got one of his favourite treats: Temptations by Whiskas (which seriously must be made with the cat equivalent of crack, my cats go so nuts for them!)’