The brand: Butternut Box

Back in 2010, Butternut Box co-founder Dave was struggling to find the right diet for his newly adopted rescue dog, Rudie. Unable to find fresh, healthy, gently-cooked food for her, Dave took to the kitchen himself and began whipping up his own meals for her. 

After a conversation with his then workmate and soon-to-be co-founder, Kev, they realised they could also solve a problem for many other dog owners.

And so Butternut Box was born in 2016, a subscription meal service for dog-owners, offering fresh, gently cooked, delicious food made with simple, healthy ingredients for their loyal companions.

The opportunity

The brief:

In 2020, Butternut Box were ready to scale up and take the brand to the next stage of growth; they wanted to trial TV but weren’t quite ready to commit to an expensive national campaign.

The plan:

As a digital native brand, Butternut Box needed to see immediate performance results, but they also wanted to create longer term drivers of success by increasing their brand metrics. Hence the idea for a ‘brand response’ campaign was born.


The ITV AdVentures’ solution:

ITV’s ability to split advertising down into smaller individual regions allowed for a geo test & learn approach which would provide Butternut Box with the opportunity to test drive TV and learn what it could do for their business without a large upfront investment. Coupled with ITV AdVentures Ignite's matched funding scheme to support new-to-tv brands, the decision to trial TV was a no brainer! 


The campaign strategy


Brand response:

A ‘brand response’ campaign blends elements of a ‘brand’ TV plan with elements of a ‘response’ TV plan. 

Brand campaigns run throughout ITV’s schedule of fantastic shows, including those premium, high-reaching, big peak shows that are imperative for driving brand fame and awareness. Brand campaigns are bought against the optimum, most effective and relevant audience for your brand to ensure you’re speaking to the right people, in their favourite shows.

In contrast, response campaigns focus purely on driving frequency within ITV’s cost-efficient daytime schedule, when we know consumers are more likely to immediately take action. Response campaigns are bought against a budget-friendly ‘all adults’ audience. 

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The campaign fundamentals


The target audience:

For Butternut Box’s brand campaign, we identified ‘ABC1 Women’ as the right fit. With 53% of dog owners being female, and this audience having a higher disposable income, ABC1 Women felt perfect for Butternut Box’s premium offering.

For the response element of the campaign, daytime spots were booked against cost-efficient ‘adults.’

The region:

With 11% of the UK’s dog owners living here, we identified ITV’s Meridian region as the perfect place for Butternut Box to test out TV.


  • Running 6 weeks from Sept - Oct

  • 139 spots, 36% coverage of adults at an average frequency of 7

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The creative

Brand response:

In line with the broader campaign strategy, Butternut Box created a 30” ‘brand response’ creative, merging elements of brand advertising (engaging and humorous) with elements of response advertising (persuasive and rational messaging, with clear product benefits and a call to action.)

The message:

Butternut Box needed to bring their unique proposition and offering to life – as a brand built on the belief that ‘dogs deserve better’, what better way to showcase that their tasty, healthy food was better for dogs than by showing it was even fit for humans?! The creative showed 3 lucky people, and Kev and Dave themselves, tucking into delicious bowls of Butternut Box and featured the tagline “we know its good, we taste test it ourselves.”



Control vs. exposed

We measured uplifts against a baseline in the ‘exposed’ campaign region of Meridian, vs. what was happening in the rest of the ‘unexposed’ country. 


Brand metrics

We used a pre and post brand study to measure uplifts in brand awareness, understanding, sentiment and intent.


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Performance metrics

We also measured uplifts in brand search, website traffic, leads and subscriptions.



14% 14% uplift in purchase intent

113% 113% average weekly uplift in brand search during on-air weeks and 49% average weekly uplift in website traffic during on-air weeks

97% 97% average weekly uplift in leads during on-air weeks and 38% average weekly uplift in subscriptions during on air weeks

26% 26% uplift in brand awareness, 9% uplift in association with ‘healthy’ and 6% uplift in brand differentiation

As a D2C brand we're always keen to keep accountability for all of our marketing spend, no matter what the campaign objective is. Therefore when planning our media we have historically opted to rely more heavily on digital channels. We ran our first TV campaign with AdVentures in 2020 and we were surprised to see just how measurable the impact of the campaign was. The campaign drove positive results for Butternut Box at both an awareness and performance level. Julian Smallshaw, Head of Digital Marketing at Butternut Box

Start your journey today

If you’re a digital brand that has not advertised on TV before and would like to work directly with ITV to achieve brand fame and drive growth in a cost-effective way, then talk to us today! We can provide matched funding of at least 50%, as well as support with planning, creative production and campaign evaluation. Email our dedicated team on

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