Written by Scarlett Freeman-Bassett • Published 12th December 2018 • 5 minute read

Animal charities are notorious for memorable and often incredibly emotive adverts and campaigns. The key to finding the perfect balance between informative, guilt-inducing and shocking, or imaginative and relatable content is to incorporate multiple communications strategies. Whether it is working with celebrity ambassadors, pop-up events, case study promotions or positioning key stakeholders within the charity in the press, a clear communications plan is important.

Clearly, this is no mean feat, yet there are some animal welfare charities that have got this tricky concoction completely spot on. So, here is the coveted list of the leading animal charities that we think have knocked their campaigns out of the park.

 

  1. Dog’s Trust

 

Dog’s Trust put an amusing spin on its longstanding ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ campaign, as usual, aiming to highlight the main issue that they routinely face around the festive period: the increased number of people ridding of their unwanted canine Christmas gift. In the light-hearted advert, the charity depicts people treating Christmas presents like dogs- taking a PlayStation for a stroll, playing fetch with a hairdryer and kissing a perfume goodnight. Ending with a woman attempting to wrap a dog up as a present, with Mel Giedroyc’s comforting commentary, we are gently reminded that dogs really aren’t just Christmas presents.

 

What do we like about it?

This is a refreshing withdrawal from the thought-provoking adverts that we are bombarded with over the festive period. Dog’s Trust have found a happy medium between humorous content, whilst also conveying a clear message. The advert is witty, without being too ambiguous. Gathering over 5,243 views on YouTube in less than two weeks, the positive reaction speaks for itself.

 

  1. Blue Cross – The world’s first ever estate agents for cats

 

In April, Blue Cross created the first pop-up estate agents with a twist, the prospective tenants were cats. This initiative was brought to life by Blue Cross in a bid to encourage the adoption of homeless and unwanted cats in its care, as well as making people aware of the importance of mentally stimulating your pets. They also rather ingeniously included ‘architects’ of the cardboard homes in the form of journalists, bloggers, designers, university students and even school children.

 

What do we like about it?

By making Journalists, students and children the architects of these homes, Blue Cross could guarantee coverage and a wide spread of conversation. They also included an all-important personal, emotive touch, by featuring actual Blue Cross pets who were waiting to be adopted in all their imagery. In total, the campaign amassed 10,716 views on YouTube, a great response for the charity.

 

  1. PDSA- Pet Fit Club

 

In this hugely successful campaign, PDSA set their sights on combatting the recently illuminated issue of overweight pets. Whilst on the surface, the concept of a ‘podgy pooch’ may seem amusing (especially when presented with the visuals), there is a serious health issue that must be addressed. Enter, Pet Fit Club, the UK’s biggest and most successful pet slimming campaign competition. Every year, PDSA choose 13 overweight pets from across the UK and facilitate them in reaching their ideal weights, with owners receiving expert advice from PDSA vets and tailored diet programmes to get their pets healthy and every step being tracked on social media.

 

What do we like about it?

The campaign has a nice mix of humour, relatability and importance. They include visuals on the website that help us to see the funny side of the situation, for example images of the ‘10 fattest pets’, yet at the same time, they address it as a very serious issue, offering advice and giving the public the opportunity to track success stories on social media. Everyone loves a weight loss success story, so what could be better than one starring our favourite four legged friends, that you can also follow on Twitter? The campaign generated national coverage in Daily Mail, Metro, The Express, Sky News, ITV News to name a few.

 

  1. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s first major brand campaign

 

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home opted for a playful approach in their campaign to raise awareness of the ever-present issue of rehoming rescue animals. With the stars of the advert series being actual residents of the home (Peanut the dog and Misty the cat), the ‘dog and cat cam’ documents the day to day life at Battersea, from health check-ups to their activities centre training. As part of the overall media strategy, the ad was accompanied by mini episodes online with various feline and canine guest journalists documenting the charities work.

 

What do we like about it?

With almost 171,000 views on YouTube, and counting, this awareness campaign has obviously been a success. Perfectly highlighting the brilliant levels of care at Battersea, as well as creating every animal lover’s dream of experiencing the day in the life of their favourite animal. Light hearted, memorable, indisputably cute and accompanied by Sue Perkins’s dulcet tones narrating the whole thing, what’s not to like?

 

  1. The Jane Goodall Institute- Cycle my cell

 

The Jane Goodall Institute’s #CycleMyCell Student Challenge is a mobile phone recycling initiative, set up between Winnipeg Area High Schools. The aim with the challenge is simple; target debatably the most environmentally conscious generation and educate them about sustainable consumer choices, in the form of a competition, with the end goal of protecting the Congo basin where Great Apes reside.

 

What do we like about it?

Creating an informative advert campaign, teamed with a catchy alliterative hashtag and targeting the most social media active and environmentally minded age group is a simple, effective campaign strategy that is a sure-fire way to create a great social buzz and ensure that the campaign has longevity.

 

Do you agree with our choices? To find out how public relations can benefit your business then please get in touch with a member of our award-winning team.