PitPat gets the nation excited about “walkies!”


Key Points

PitPat needed to drive brand awareness and generate incremental sales

  • They tried TV for the first time with an airtime for equity deal on UKTV
  • As a result, sales tripled and brand awareness increased from 5% to 15%

The Challenge

44% of dogs in the UK are overweight or obese and, in most cases, their owners have no idea. PitPat is a pet-tech start-up driven by a brand purpose - to engage dog owners in a healthier and happier life for their dog. They provide an online dog activity monitor, allowing dog owners to track and improve their dog’s exercise levels, calorie consumption and weight.

PitPat went to UKTV Ventures as a young business with low brand awareness and relatively little marketing investment. They were early on in their technology adoption life cycle and had a business aim to “cross the chasm” into the next stage of ‘early majority’ adoption, which required building brand awareness at scale but cost-effectively.

There were three campaign objectives:

  • Drive brand awareness
  • Generate incremental sales
  • Enable PitPat to move into the early majority stage

The TV Solution

UKTV Ventures believed that TV was uniquely placed to change consumer behaviour and effectively create a new market for a “Fitbit for dogs”. They knew that TV offered the opportunity to build a strong emotional connection with consumers through a rich story-telling format, which particularly resonated with PitPat as dog owners are highly emotionally invested in their relationship with their dogs.

TV was the perfect medium to make PitPat famous due to its ability to deliver broad reach and drive mass market awareness. As a highly regulated marketing medium, it could help PitPat build a credible and trusted brand, which for a young start-up was business crucial.

UKTV Ventures led a £1m investment into PitPat to launch their first ever TV campaign. The bold idea was for PitPat to own the “walkies” occasion in a similar way that KitKat own “having a break”. TV formed the pillar of the marketing plan with the primary goal to build reach and drive search.

UKTV Ventures used BARB data to understand the overlap between dog ownership and TV ownership across UKTV’s network. They identified that 11.5 million TV viewers in the UK owned a dog, and 8.5 million of these watched UKTV channels. At a demographic level, they validated that the profile of dog owners who watched TV highly overlapped with PitPat’s customer profile, indicating that TV would be a successful investment channel to drive brand consideration and incremental sales.

The Plan

A two-phased campaign plan was implemented to deliver a 50% 1+ cover across the UKTV channels. The first phase was a brand focused ABC1 adults campaign, aimed at building reach quickly and driving brand awareness through the call to action: “Search for PitPat”.  This was followed by a more targeted, optimised media plan supporting a more functional, product-led advert designed to capitalise on the growing brand awareness. There would be a consideration period for purchase, so building frequency would be key.

The Ventures team used the strength of the UKTV portfolio to drive reach with ABC1 adults on channels such as Dave, Drama, Yesterday and Gold, while also targeting PitPat’s key “dog owner” demographic - Women 25-54 Dog Owners, as identified by BARB panel data - on high indexing channels such as W, Alibi and Eden. Programme and daypart selection were driven by targeting this dog owner demographic, using a mix of high rating and high indexing shows. This strategy meant low profile daytime spots also worked hard to deliver results and supported high-rating peak spots, which drove volume.

In addition, they partnered with Adalyser to implement real-time campaign reporting, monitoring and optimisation to ensure that the performance of the campaign was being maximised by continuously refining and improving the media plan. For example, analysis showed that Thursdays and Fridays drove a lower cost per transaction and the stronger performing channels were Dave, W and Alibi.

The campaign launched on 16th September 2019 and ran for two weeks, pulsed during October and then took a break so the airtime performance could be analysed. The optimised plan went back on-air w/c 25th November and ran every week at a steady weight of 26-27 TVRs to maximise reach in the run up to the Christmas gifting season. There was also an updated call to action of “Give the gift of walkies with a PitPat dog activity monitor” to improve product understanding and drive sales. The campaign continued into February 2020.


With a strong creative to bring to life the robust media spend, coupled with effective PR and wider brand amplification, PitPat successfully owned “walkies!” through this campaign.

  • PitPat saw significant press coverage, were named Campaign’s Ad of the Day and even featured on ITV’s This Morning
  • The brand-focused campaign phase led to a 5x increase in website traffic
  • Unprompted brand awareness rose from 5% to 15%
  • PitPat saw a 4.5x increase in sales from the launch of the campaign through to the end of December 2019. Of this, PitPat isolated the impact of TV to have delivered a 3x sales increase
  • This growth in consumer sales meant PitPat had successfully “crossed the chasm” and moved into the early majority stage of brand adoption
  • The social campaign #gomadforwalkies went viral, with plenty of dog reaction videos by dog owners showing just how mad dogs were going for walkies
  • Due to the fun and bold creative, the advert was very shareable and achieved a large organic reach, with popular influencer Zoella sharing the TV advert on her Instagram story after seeing it
  • The campaign was shortlisted in the ‘Best TV newcomer’ at the TV Planning Awards 2020

TV has been a fantastic new channel for us and certainly delivered on our aims to build brand awareness, convert sales and take us into the early majority. I was thoroughly impressed by the UKTV Ventures team and the high quality of their recommendations and output. They made sure our advert was put in front of our key customer demographics, picking the best spots and adjusting the channel mix. They also successfully helped maximise our conversation rate through time of day and day of week optimisations based on our data of when owners walked their dog. It was a real pleasure to work with such a professional and competent team who really understood our mission and treated the campaign with the utmost care and attention to detail.

Andrew Nowell CEO, PitPat

UKTV Ventures is proud to have invested in PitPat and helped them launch their first ever TV campaign through our airtime for equity investment model. We were delighted with the strong results that TV was able to deliver for PitPat across brand, awareness and sales metrics. TV helped establish PitPat as a credible and recognised brand nationwide and it is great to see the company continue to go from strength to strength.

Sheena Amin Director of UKTV Ventures


Sector: Technology

Brand: PitPat

Campaign objectives: Increase brand awareness and drive sales

Target Audience: ABC1 adults, women aged 25-54 who are dog owners

Budget: £1m airtime for equity deal

Campaign Dates: The campaign ran from 16th September until 29th December in 2019 and from 7th January until 8th March in 2020

TV Usage: 30 second ad

Creative Agency: Wonderhood and UKTV Creative

Media Agency:  UKTV Ventures

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