Opinion Former Article

NOAH launches viral marketing campaign

The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has launched a viral video to highlight key pet healthcare messages and raise awareness of its Pet Health Information website (www.pethealthinfo.org.uk) among animal lovers.

The new viral video campaign by NOAH is its first venture into social media. The video, which will be posted on sites such as You Tube (http://www.youtube.com/petfactor) and circulated via e-mail, trades on the current craze for TV talent shows by showing various pet characters auditioning in front of a tough panel of talent scouts including the handsome canine chair of the panel, Simon Howl. Each pet in the series of three auditions set to be launched is however hampered in its performance by a common healthcare issue. The video ends with a call to action giving viewers the chance to "pledge to treat their pet like a star" with a downloadable certificate that they can personalise, print and frame.

The first viral video shows the first character, a dog, struggling to perform at his best because he has not been wormed. The video can be seen at (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWfaLvwg7m0)

The Pet Health Information website is a NOAH initiative to help raise awareness of responsible pet care and ownership.

Launched last year, the website features a wealth of animal health information and advice to help owners and potential owners make informed decisions about their pets' healthcare.

With a wide range of topics including information on buying a pet, health guides, travelling abroad with pets and first aid, the site features information on a range of species from dogs through to fish.

Research last year by NOAH to mark the launch of the site showed that pet owners fall into two categories - those who are 'preventers' and those who are 'non-preventers'. Whilst both camps agreed that responsible pet ownership equaled love and attention resulting in caring, feeding and exercising their pets, disease prevention was often not seen as part of this love with only 55% of dogs and 46% of cats over two years of age being vaccinated against potentially fatal diseases.

'Preventers' make a conscious effort to ensure their pet is protected from a wide range of problems with 96% regarding worming as a regular part of pet health care, whereas 'non-preventers' are more likely not to worm their pet because they see no reason to do so, with over a quarter (28%) not deeming it to be necessary.

Alarmingly, the research also showed that the two out of five owners who sleep in the same room as their pets - with the pet in the bedroom, on the bed, or even in the bed itself - are no more likely than other owners to practice preventative health care such as worming or flea control, despite their close proximity to their pets.

Whilst the facts speak for themselves, many owners still firmly believe that they know all they need to know about pet health care and do not actively seek information.

Phil Sketchley, NOAH Chief Executive said: "With this fun viral video campaign, we are seeking to reach a new audience, to highlight our Pet Health Information website as a resource and to emphasise the core preventative health care messages. We think that the pledge element will appeal particularly strongly to children, who will be able to download the certificate to show they care about their pet. The talent show element is a great way of tapping into both the nation's love of this format and love of animals, while helping to convey a serious message in a humorous way. Why not pass it on to your clients and customers and help spread the word?"

For more information on individual species ranging from dogs through to fish, log on to www.pethealthinfo.org.uk

-ends-

Notes to editors:
1) Research carried out by Opinion Matters from 29th May to 2nd June 2008 surveying over 1,300 people.

2) Channel address: http://www.youtube.com/petfactor
Dog video address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWfaLvwg7m0

NOAH represents the UK animal medicines industry. Its aims are to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals. www.noah.co.uk

For further press information, please contact
Elizabeth Peplow or Jane McCallion
Blue Zebra PR
Tel: 01865 861 600
elizabeth.peplow@bluezebrapr.com or jane.mccallion@bluezebrapr.com

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