Mars Holiday Treats

Last fall I was approached by one of the biggest players in the pet food industry about a holiday season photography campaign they were working on.  Mars Petcare was planning a series of social media advertisements to promote their Pedigree, Misfits, and Cesar dog brands, as well as their Temptations cat brand.  I’d created the photography for their new Canadian MisFits packaging so they were familiar with my work.

The theme of the campaign was that your pets would treat you during the holidays if they could, so you should treat your pets.  We came up with a series of scenarios where dogs and cats had tried to help out with traditional holiday tasks, but ultimately ended up causing a bit of trouble.  Mars Petcare loved our ideas so the job was a go.

The project was already going to be difficult, but to make things even more complicated the client decided they wanted short video clips to accompany the photos.  We’d need to setup additional lighting gear and would need to shoot each animal twice.  This was going to be a very hard project, but I couldn’t wait to get started.

I needed our pets to interact with holiday scenes in order to capture the photos I was aiming for.  We worked with the talented stylist Jason Hatton of P1M to style each scenario.  We decided that our dogs and cats would be wrapping gifts, hanging lights, baking cookies, decorating the christmas tree, and posting holiday cards.  Jason did an incredible job of making the scenes come to life.  I worked with my trusty animal trainer Angus to source and handle the animals on set.  We worked out of Toronto’s gorgeous Neighbourhood studio.

At the end of a very long day, my team succeeded in creating cute and hilarious photos that would work perfectly for the campaign.  My client was thrilled with the images and videos, which they leveraged to generate lots of social media attention as part of their important holiday season marketing efforts.

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