DRIVING DOGS

Short List
TitleDRIVING DOGS
ClientMINI / SPCA NEW ZEALAND
Product / ServiceDOG ADOPTION
CategoryC01. Best Integrated Campaign Led by PR
EntrantDRAFTFCB NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Entrant Company DRAFTFCB NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Advertising Agency DRAFTFCB NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND

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. This makes the SPCA’s job of finding homes for these animals a real challenge. The SPCA needed to change this perception. MINI, as a long standing, but little known, sponsor wanted to help. Our strategy was to prove how smart shelter dogs really are. By teaching three SPCA dogs to do something a dog had never done before. Drive a MINI. No tricks, no special effects. Just a dog driving a MINI. We leveraged news and social media influencers, not ads, to engage people with the dogs’ incredible journey and convince them it was real. From selecting the dogs, to training them, to showing them pass the ultimate test – driving a car live on NZ’s most popular news & current affairs TV show – PR made the project credible, believable and famous. The story captured the nation – and the world’s – consciousness. Hundreds of millions were exposed through news and social media, turning a potential hoax into credible news on every local and global news network. This credibility worked: 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.

Results

We didn’t just engage the nation…we engaged the world. In just seven days … • Over 200 million people saw the dogs driving • News media coverage in 41 countries on every major news network (& lots more not officially monitored) • Over 100 million reached on Twitter alone, trending globally • Over 10 million YouTube views • $15m in earned exposure (spent $30,000) The live drive was must-see TV: viewership rose 49% compared to previous weeks. 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% Interest in adopting shelter dogs boomed: 590% increase immediately after live drive event. Meaning every SPCA dog was adopted. And increases in shelter dog adoption interest recorded across the world, including the US and UK.

Execution

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 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. Training video seeding and Twitter outreach helped make the story a hot social media topic. 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 and dealer events, preferring to make a meaningful difference to the SPCA’s adoption efforts through action, rather than heavily publicise their support. As MINI’s PR agency, they approached us to increase awareness of this association but 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

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.

Credits

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