Agency: BMP DDB Authors: Audrey Niven and Les Binet


The Cat's Whiskers: How Consistent Advertising Built Brand Leadership

This is the story of how a long-running advertising campaign helped a cheeky young No. 2 brand take on the might of a 40-year-old brand leader and win.

Today, Felix is the biggest selling cat food brand in the UK with annual sales of more than £130 million.1 But back in 1989 things weren’t quite so rosy. At that time, Felix only had 6% brand share and was being threatened with delisting. By 1995, however, the brand had risen to No. 2 in the market,2 gaining 16 share points in six years.

The role of advertising in this change of fortunes was documented in a winning IPA paper in 1996. In that paper the evaluation focused primarily on the direct effects of advertising in increasing penetration. This paper picks up where we left off in 1996 and looks at what has happened to Felix since then, examining advertising effects over a more mature phase of the brand’s development.