Product / ServicePEDIGREE
CategoryB01. Education & Awareness (incl. Fundraising and Advocacy)
Idea Creation COLENSO BBDO Auckland, NEW ZEALAND


Name Company Position
Nick Worthington Colenso BBDO Creative Chairman
Neville Doyle Colenso BBDO Planning Director
Amy Pollok Colenso BBDO Junior Planner
Paul Gunn Colenso BBDO Head of Activation & PR
Tim Freeman Colenso BBDO Production Director
Mike Davison Colenso BBDO Head of Art
Brent Courtney Colenso BBDO Designer
Ahmad Salim Colenso BBDO Group Business Director
Abbi Barker Colenso BBDO Business Director
Aaron Turk Colenso BBDO Digital Creative Director
Natasha Gill Colenso BBDO Senior Producer
Alice Sopwith Colenso BBDO Account Manager
Oliver Downs MARS Marketing Director
Maria Granados MARS Brand Manager - Dog & Speciality
Emily Osborne Colenso BBDO Art Director
Henry Wall Colenso BBDO Copywriter
Maria Bjorkman Colenso BBDO Project Director
David Way Watermark Ltd Digital Producer
Anton Petrov Watermark Ltd Digital Illustrator
Debbie Laing MARS National Business Operations Manager

The Campaign

‘A Dog’s Story’ is an educational digital experience (for smartphones and tablets) that teaches children dog safety. On an adventure through a magical world, children will meet different dogs and their owners - each of whom teaches important real world lessons about how to interact with dogs. The lessons were created from exhaustive research into the moments when incidents between dogs and children are most likely to happen. We identified them after working with dog behavioural experts, vets, nurses, parents and the Auckland Animal Management Team (the largest animal management team in the Southern Hemisphere). To bring these lessons to life in a way that children would actively want to engage with, the creation, craft and storytelling approach was rooted in further research we undertook with teachers, children’s authors, parents and most importantly, children themselves.

Creative Execution

Our educational message had the potential to change lives. However, it needed to be an entertaining experience that children would naturally gravitate to. A classic story book plot was woven into an interactive game, enabling children to learn correct dog behaviour before encountering them in the real world. We showed how dogs should be approached, what to do when a dog runs toward you, when they should be left alone, and how to read a dog’s body language, amounting to safer relationships between children and dogs. Although the app was designed to educate children, many adults don’t understand correct dog behaviour either. So we created a section for parents that taught them the important rules and how they could further educate their children beyond the app. By partnering with numerous City Councils, starting with Auckland, A Dog’s Story became part of school curriculum in classrooms and communities nationwide.

Launching in April 2016, ‘A Dog’s Story’ is still in its infancy. However, we knew that getting it to 5-9 y/o children & having them actively use it was crucial.   In terms of usage, in the first month users have already spent a total of 2,503 hours on the app learning about dog safety, completing 59,069 lessons.   The average session length is 7 mins 6 seconds; users are spending 30% longer playing A Dog’s Story than the average time spent with educational apps, 89% longer than mobile apps in general.   The most important result however is that Councils and educational boards that are adopting ‘A Dog’s Story’ as their official curriculum for dog education, giving us access to all of NZ’s 400,000 5-9 y/o’s.   Whilst a NZ initiative, it’s far from being a NZ only program. Mars are translating and rolling it out globally, starting with US, France and Germany.

PEDIGREE set out to help address the education gap and in doing so, not only help deal with a growing societal problem but also help to build an emotional connection between the brand and New Zealanders. Identifying that there were virtually no programmes in existence to teach children dog safety, and those that did weren’t reaching most children, we set out to create something impactful and scalable. We identified 5-9 y/o’s as our core target market. Given the fact that their generation are growing up digital natives, and that 85% of house holds have access to 1+ smart devices, we felt that an app would be the best way to give our educational platform the reach it needed to make a real impact. The approach was simple – to create a digital experience that would directly help change the way children were interacting with dogs.


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