Mars signs Eva Longoria for global ad push

Mars has signed Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria to front a global campaign that repositions its Sheba range as a brand that appeals to the emotional rather than the nutritional value.


The ‘Follow Your Passion’ global campaign launches later this month with a TV spot featuring the actor encouraging cat owners to live out their desires. A £2m media strategy has been outlined for the UK and will include print, PR, digital and in-store activity.

Mars’ latest campaign marks a shift in marketing strategy for its premium petcare brand, which has previously used cats and the nutritional benefits of the food as the focus of its advertising activity.

Sheba will continue to be aimed at women and it is hoped the tie-up with Longoria will differentiate the brand advertising from rivalsuch as Purina.

Mars is using the campaign to boost brand awareness in the pet food market, which grew by 18% between 2006 and 2011 to reach an estimated £2.7bn in the UK according to research business Mintel.

The business says it chose to work with the American model because of her high-profile status in the media as a cat lover.

Julia Nicoara, brand manager for Sheba, says the campaign, created by AMV BBDO, will focus on “celebrating the many passions in our consumers’ lives.”

The goal, she adds, is to provide a “huge opportunity” to increase brand awareness and target a new generation of cat lovers.

Mars’ petcare division is currently developing marketing strategies to raise the profile of brands such as, KitKat, Cesar, Sheba and Chappie in the UK, following the appointment of marketing director Miranda Sambles.

Sambles said that she wanted to produce campaigns that take Mars’ pet portfolio from “having really famous brands to having truly loved brands.”

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