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How to help your pets save the planet with Aardvark and Annual 2021 Bronze winner B&B Studio | #BehindTheIdea

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Pet food is responsible for around a quarter of the negative environmental impact of meat production worldwide. The answer to that problem isn't always as easy as having your dog go vegan. Most pets will find a vegan diet inappropriate for their nutritional needs. So how to help your pet save the planet?

The real answer is in this colourful, playful and inspiring project by B&B Studio, one of the top branding agencies on Creativepool and a proud Annual 2021 Bronze winner. The work by B&B Studio helped AARDVARK frame sustainability through a pet’s eyes, advancing insect-based protein as a healthy and sustainable alternative to meat-based pet foods. The most brilliant part? It doesn't need to bombard owners with statistics to do it.

Today we are getting Behind the Idea with Lisa Desforges, Head of Strategy at B&B studio, to learn more about this exciting award-winning project below.

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What do you think impressed the judges about this project?

I hope they enjoyed its sense of humour, and its ability to connect with consumers through a shared love for pets and the planet. I hope they noticed how the brand harnesses positivity and a huge sense of optimism about the future to talk about quite a serious environmental issue. And I really hope they liked the name!

What was the brief?

We were briefed to create an insect-based pet food brand from scratch. We knew it had to be digitally native, sustainable and appeal to millennial pet parents. Everything else was strategically defined in-house, from the decision to focus on community and sustainability, rather than insects and pet food codes.

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Tell us more about the concept. How did it come to life, and why was it the right choice?

Strategically, we knew we wanted to challenge the irrelevant human food codes so often crowbarred into pet food, and create something that had the ‘everything you need and nothing you don’t’ vibe of DTC branding. We also knew we wanted to communicate the sustainability of the product without focusing too much on insect protein. It was really creating the name AARDVARK that brought the brand to life, because it enabled us to tick the insect box with humour and focus our design skills on connecting with pet lovers through contemporary codes, compelling messaging and cool illustrations.

This year’s winners are a testament to the power of creativity in hardship. How did Covid restrictions influence your winning projects and how did you approach these new challenges?

The Aardvark project kicked-off around the same time that we all began working from home, so we were very much in the initial throws of getting to grips with this new way of working. We did however, have the advantage of designing Aardvark at a time when DTC brands were having a (necessary) moment, with a sea of new brands launching at once.  We were able to delve into how best to create standout and engagement in this landscape – and consider what people really want from digital first brands today and moving forward. 

What is one funny or notable thing that happened during production?

AARDVARK Founder, Hugo Walters was invited onto Sky News to introduce AARDVARK and its mission which gave the brand some great early visibility, (And the AARDVARK cat and dog, characterfully illustrated by Aaron Leah behaved perfectly throughout production!). 

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What’s the main message of the campaign and why does it matter?

Pet food is responsible for around a quarter of the negative environmental impact of meat production worldwide. And while 66% of millennials are turning to plant-based protein sources, they continue to feed meat to their pets, for whom a vegan diet is inappropriate. Insect protein is a sustainable and healthy solution to that problem. What AARDVARK does brilliantly is frame sustainability through a pet’s eyes, imagining that pets are likely to be eco-warriors because of their natural love for the great outdoors. Rather than bomboard pet owners with statistics, it simply asks them to do it for their pets.

What is one unique aspect of the project?

The brand imagines a community of pets and people who all share a common love for the planet, and it uses social media to bring this community to life. It has an activist feel, but delivered in a playful and optimistic way, believing in the power of community to change things.

How long did it take from inception to delivery?

About 9 months.

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

World domination.

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What advice would you share with other agencies and individuals looking to grab an award?

Awards like this are a real accolade and credit to the work done. In our experience, award winning work often starts with a great client partnership and brave thinking. 

What is your most exciting project in the next year?

We are sworn to secrecy!

Will you enter again in 2022? If so, what are your hopes?

An award from the global Creativepool community means a lot as it feels like recognition from our industry peers. We will definitely aim to enter in 2022 – and hopefully get a gold next time! 

How do you plan to display your award?

With the others :)

Credit list for the campaign?

B&B studio. Illustration by Aron Leah.

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