Grand Prix

Case Film

Presentation Board

Product / ServiceDOG ADOPTION
CategoryA03. Best Use of Live Events and/or Celebrity Endorsement


Name Company Position
Mark Vette Animals On Q Director - Animals On Q
Steph Pearson Draftfcb New Zealand Digital Director
Harri Owen Draftfcb New Zealand Head Of Digital And Content
Sarah Mcewen Draftfcb New Zealand Planner/Media Buyer
Rufus Chuter Draftfcb New Zealand Communications Planning Director
Rachel Leyland Draftfcb New Zealand Media Manager
Simon Teagle Draftfcb New Zealand General Manager - Media
Eloise Hay Draftfcb New Zealand Account Manager - PR
Angela Spain Draftfcb New Zealand General Manager - PR
Stephanie Hueber Draftfcb New Zealand Account Manager
Sally Willis Draftfcb New Zealand Account Director
Toby Sellers Draftfcb New Zealand Group Account Director
Nick Mcfarlane Draftfcb New Zealand Senior Designer
Blair Walker Draftfcb New Zealand Head Of Post Production
Marco Siraky Draftfcb New Zealand Director/DoP
Matt Williams Draftfcb New Zealand Creative
Peter Vegas Draftfcb New Zealand Creative
Regan Grafton Draftfcb New Zealand Executive Creative Director
Tony Clewett Draftfcb New Zealand Executive Creative Director
James Mok Draftfcb New Zealand Asia Pacific Executive Creative Director

The Campaign

In New Zealand, shelter dogs are seen as second rate. Most traditional adoption campaigns reinforce this perception by painting the dogs as victims. Making the SPCA’s job of finding homes for these animals a challenge. The SPCA needed to change this perception. MINI, a long standing, but little known, sponsor wanted to help. Our strategy was to prove how smart shelter dogs are. By teaching three SPCA dogs to do something a dog had never done before. Drive a MINI – through a PR led partnership with a current affairs show, with the live stunt filmed for TV, broadcast to the world. We used media relations to launch the dogs’ incredible journey. From selecting the dogs, training them, showing them pass the ultimate test – driving a car live on NZ’s most popular news & current affairs show – media relations made the project credible, believable and famous. The story captured the nation – and the world’s – consciousness. Hundreds of millions of people were exposed to the live showcase through news and social media, turning this idea into credible news on every local and global news network. The live drive stunt was crucial to bringing the idea to life: our incredible driving dogs changed perceptions of shelter dogs in New Zealand, leading to a 590% increase in adoption interest and every SPCA dog being adopted. It also changed the lives of countless shelter dogs worldwide, with adoption interest increasing from as far away as the US and UK.

The Brief

Goals: 1.Change people’s negative perceptions of SPCA shelter dog behaviour, in order to drive interest in SPCA adoptions 2.Increase awareness of MINI’s association with SPCA by 10% 3.Double engagement with the MINI brand on Facebook: from 5% to 10% Audience: Potential dog adoptees nationwide. Research: Published research showed there was a perception that SPCA shelter dogs have behavioural problems. And these aren’t just dogs; they’re potential family members, so we would need to convince people beyond all shadow of a doubt that shelter dogs don’t have behavioural issues and are just as trainable and intelligent as “regular” dogs.


• Over 200million saw the dogs driving • Major news media coverage in 41 countries • Over 100million reached on Twitter, trending globally • Over 10million YouTube views • $15m in earned exposure (spent $30,000) Objective 1 Result: People were twice as likely to overcome their perception barrier once they’d seen the dogs driving Objective 2 Result: Beat SPCA association awareness target by 133% Objective 3 Result: Beat Facebook engagement target for SPCA and MINI by 170% 590% increase immediately after live drive event. Every SPCA dog was adopted. Campbell Live ran the story four times to their audience of 304,000 people nationwide · 483 media articles were gathered until our budget for media analysis ran out · 213 minutes of broadcast coverage ran altogether on the story · Broadcast coverage was syndicated to 1008 media outlets globally · Reach via media articles to an estimated audience of 230,540,469 worldwide


With New Zealand’s #1 animal trainer we selected three SPCA dogs to undergo a world-first eight week training course using a specially-modified MINI. We then: Teased as credible news: Convinced NZ’s most credible news TV show, Campbell Live to reveal the idea. They showed training footage and asked, “can a dog drive a car? -Tune-in one week later to find out.” Engaged the nation: Post broadcast, we made the project credible headline news. Local “super influencers” were targeted through media relations plus 400+ NZ and international news media outlets; making global news would create more news locally. 800+ pieces of content were released across Facebook and YouTube to fuel engagement. We constantly engaged with journalists and news media direct and through social media. Proved it: Staged a world first demonstration of dogs driving a MINI broadcast LIVE on Campbell Live. We then shared this content with everyone that had engaged.

The Situation

SPCA NZ is a not for profit animal rescue shelter. MINI is a global premium automotive car brand. Despite supporting the SPCA since 2010, awareness of MINI’s association was less than 1%. Historically, MINI has hosted adoption days, preferring to make a meaningful difference to the SPCA’s adoption efforts through action. As MINI’s integrated agency, they approached us to increase awareness of this association, importantly to make a real difference to the SPCA. SPCA dogs are seen as second rate – we had to do something compelling and PR led to change this perception.

The Strategy

Our strategy: deliver an extreme display of SPCA’s dogs’ intelligence and trainability to prove they don’t have behavioural issues. A display so incredible, but delivered so credibly, that people would have to reassess their beliefs. How? By teaching them to drive a MINI and showcasing this live on news led TV. We’d then use trusted news and social influencers to convince people that this unbelievable idea was actually possible, ahead of the live drive through credible news. By further engaging the nation with the idea and the cause, leveraging training footage across PR and social media to keep people intrigued and invested emotionally. Finally, by proving that the idea is actually possible in one incredible, undeniable dog driving display – LIVE on national TV. At each step we’d ensure that the story remained in newsfeeds and broadcast, print, online news headlines to ensure the whole nation followed the dogs’ journey.