Cannes Lions

Curiosity Box

ALMAPBBDO, Sao Paulo / MARS / 2021

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Our initial briefing was to boost e-commerce sales of Whiskas pouches for cats – and pull that off without major investment. The main challenge was that cat owners have never historically made a habit of buying online, preferring to make their purchases at supermarkets or brick-and-mortar pet shops. With the coming of Covid-19, that need became even more urgent. And in order to meet it, and to set the brand apart from the competition, we overhauled the design of our delivery boxes so that they could keep on fulfilling that role, while also being transformed into objects of desire and curiosity.


With one eye on cats’ love of boxes and the other on the brand’s concept, we transformed the delivery boxes for Whiskas pouches into cat toys: cardboard rockets, planes, and submarines that could feed cats’ curiosity, and their owners’ too. Boxes that would otherwise have been tossed straight into the trash could be used to entertain cats and aid their development. To publicize this, we invited people who know plenty about unboxing: influencers, who, for the first time, did an unboxing of… well… boxes. Their followers went wild, and soon wanted their own. Luckily, all you had to do was buy 40 or more pouches from our e-commerce site. The rest was up to clients, who started using Instagram filters to make playtime even more fun. The submarines explored the ocean, the planes flew through the sky, the rockets streaked through space, and imagination and curiosity soared to new heights.


The launch strategy for our Curiosity Boxes was to place them on one of the largest e-commerce platforms for pet products in Brazil: Pet Love. When consumers bought 40 or more Whiskas pouches, they would receive the products in personalized boxes that could be set up as rockets, planes, or submarines. This, in turn, made the boxes collectible items. Our target was cat owners across Brazil – and to reach them, we turned to a variety of cat-owning, cat-loving influencers. Some were paid and other just received the boxes as a present, but it was a hit with all of them. The strategy also aimed to encourage clients to post on social media, and we saw thousands of posts as a result.


The idea was implemented 100% online, through Pet Love’s e-commerce platform. First, we undertook the painstaking work of making sure the Whiskas delivery boxes would still work for delivery but could be transformed into cat toys. We developed 3 boxes in all: a plane, a submarine, and a rocket, which could only be acquired by people purchasing at least 40 pouches. Each was in a different style, but they were all sent out to consumers like any old delivery box. At the same time, we sent boxes to multiple cat-owning influencers, partners and non-partners. In parallel, we created a digital campaign that could tell the whole story, using media and a tone completely focused on our target. With the box in hands, people could set up the model they’d received – and the cats could channel all their curiosity into fun-filled playtime.


At the height of the COVID-19 crisis in Brazil, many people started cutting back on investments, given the uncertainty of the moment. Even so, this low-investment campaign had an organic reach of nearly 2 million people. The result was a 28% increase in Whiskas sales over the previous period, hitting the sales goal for the year three months ahead of time – plus coverage from the world’s biggest news portals. To say nothing of the countless cats who were able to have fun with their Curiosity Boxes, and wound up in posts or Stories to prove it.

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