CorpComms Awards

Best corporate partnership

Best corporate partnership
Mars Petcare and LGBT Foundation
Agency: Cirkle

When employee-owned agency Cirkle was appointed by Mars Petcare, without a pitch, to lead on B2B and select corporate projects, it was also asked to identify a partner for cat treat brand Dreamies.

The task was to emulate the success that Mars has enjoyed in driving purpose through its brands, with Maltesers now associated with inclusion and Skittles with diversity. It was felt that the time was right to deliver a purpose programme for a pet care brand.

Research conducted by Cirkle discovered that 71 per cent of the LGBT+ community owned a pet, which was a considerably higher pet ownership ratio than other groups. More than eight out of ten LGBT+ pet owners also agreed that being around pets aided their mental health.

This was a particularly important statistic because mental health issues adversely impact the LGBT+ community.

Research suggested that 51 per cent experienced depression during lockdown while 42 per cent had felt life was not worth living during lockdown. The figures painted a picture of a community in need of support.

Cirkle then conducted proprietary analysis to identify an appropriate charitable partner that could deliver tangible mental support to the community, which identified the LGBT Foundation, a nationwide charity delivering advice, support and information services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Established in 1975, it serves more than 40,000 people every year while offering online information to more than 600,000.

The LGBT Foundation’s purpose was aligned with Mars Petcare’s intent, to raise awareness of mental health within the LGBT community, but critically it also offered support, such as therapy sessions and a national mental health helpline – the only one of its kind.

The partnership launched in May 2021. More than 70 million Dreamies packets carrying the message Proudly supporting LGBT Foundation and, critically, the helpline number, were distributed nationwide. The helpline number was also displayed on all points of sale materials.

There was an almost immediate impact to the partnership. The LGBT Foundation received a 300 per cent uplift in social engagement and a 46 per cent increase in calls to the helpline. Within a short period, more than 350 individuals had been helped by the charity. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the partnership has been renewed for 2022.