Its campaign supported Inaba Ciao cat treats.

(Press Release) CHICAGO – Matrix Partners, a pet-centric brand strategy and communications firm, was recently recognized for a social media marketing campaign they created to support the U.S. launch of Inaba Ciao cat treats.

The targeted social media campaign won a Gold Hermes award in the Social Media/Consumer Engagement category for its reach and engagement.

The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials and programs, and emerging technologies. Entries are judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, a third-party evaluator of creative work that has judged over 200,000 entries since its formation in 1994.

The objective of this campaign was to introduce American cat owners to the Inaba Ciao line of cat treats, which is one of the most popular brands of edible cat products in Japan. The Matrix social media team faced two formidable challenges – grabbing the attention of cat owners in a highly competitive market and overcoming the stigma surrounding edible products that are made with ingredients sourced outside of the U.S.

To achieve this objective, the agency implemented a coordinated series of best-practice strategies including an engaging social media campaign, sampling programs targeting key influencers, and Facebook promotions. As a result, Inaba Ciao’s Facebook audience in the U.S. skyrocketed from zero to 60,000+ fans, with more than 1 million impressions tallied per month. Over 200,000 treat samples were distributed to influencers, consumers, cat cafes and cat shelters nationwide. At the conclusion of the program, Inaba Ciao USA was well-positioned for significant sales growth.

“Building such a powerful social media presence in less than a year has been an incredible experience for us,” said Don Tomala, Matrix Partners managing director. “Speaking for everyone at Matrix Partners, we appreciate having our efforts recognized by those bestowing this prestigious award.”