Silver Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

Product / ServiceSEEING EYE DOGS
CategoryC04. Audience Targeting / Engagement Strategies


Name Company Position
Matt Lawson McCann Melbourne Executive Creative Director
Charles Baylis McCann Melbourne Senior Copywriter
Chris Baker McCann Melbourne Social Director
Rob Patterson McCann Melbourne Account Manager
Angela Lethbridge McCann Melbourne Account Executive
David Phillips McCann Melbourne Head of Strategy and Media
Chamari Kariyakaranage McCann Melbourne Planner
Jane Walshe Mccann Melbourne Media Director
Emma Black Mccann Melbourne Senior Media Account Manager
Tom Mannion McCann Melbourne Editor
Dave Budd McCann Melbourne Designer
Rebecca Earwaker McCann Melbourne Digital Producer
Anthea Waters Mccann Melbourne Finished Artist
Ken Sahoury McCann Melbourne Digital Designer
Matt Lawson McCann Melbourne Senior Copywriter
Tony Prysten McCann Melbourne Head of Digital
Adrian Mills McCann Melbourne Managing Director
Patrick Baron McCann Melbourne Chief Creative Officer

The Campaign

Free Puppies Forever is the subscription service that gives you a free puppy, with free food, free medical care and free housing when you’re on holiday. Then, when he’s ready to leave for Seeing Eye dog training, you can have another. Sign up and you can literally have a new puppy every year, for the rest of your life. By finding carers to look after a new puppy year on year, Free Puppies Forever could help solve Seeing Eye Dogs Australia’s brief, forever.


Initially the campaign message was seeded to existing Vision Australia members, knowing they would be open to the message and would naturally share the campaign on our behalf. Then we built a suite of social assets that were instantly shareable and a point of talk-ability, meaning our audience became our own advocates. These were seeded to key influencers, news networks and were used as behaviourally and geographically targeted social posts to engage 29-50 years old Australians who were interested in dogs. All eDMs, social posts, online films and PR directly linked to our own custom CRM platform and drove people to our Open Day activation. Subscribers from the campaign were then vetted and, if successful, sent a puppy. They were then invited to share pictures of their new pup on the Free Puppies Forever Facebook page. These posts were then used as second round comms to encourage more subscribers.

The Free Puppies Forever story received national press and was picked up by 38 major online publishers and featured as an news item on 7 TV broadcasts, nationally and internationally. During the campaign period the SEDA site saw an increase in web traffic of 336% and a 13.5% increase in Facebook likes. From a $10,000 budget we created content that received $3.7 million in earned media and built a database of 2,570 subscribers. We found people that not only wanted to look after a puppy, but wanted to do it year on year. The campaign found enough puppy carers not only for the 2016 litters, but also incredibly created a waiting list that can hopefully solve the problem forever. This has allowed SEDA to double there breeding program and as result they can now produce twice the number of Seeing Eye Dogs for visually impaired Australians.

The Situation

Free Puppies Forever, the puppy subscription service, was a PR campaign that aimed to find carers for Seeing Eye Dog puppies, however, the result was a campaign that flipped the category conventions for traditional charity appeals. Instead of playing on people's sense of moral obligation we told them what was in it for them, and then packaged that story in a way that would make them smile, share and ultimately subscribe. After all, who wouldn’t want free puppies forever?

The Strategy

Our three-step strategy was as follows: 1. Target a young audience of socially conscious dog lovers using a medium that we know they engage with - social media. Knowing that the Internet is awash with people sharing pictures, memes and videos of dogs we designed our communications to be as sharable as possible. 2. Execute a channel strategy that would maximise our limited budget whilst also leveraging PR. This meant our readers and viewers became a channel in itself, amplifying our comms message long after our paid push ceased. To do so we would target national and international news publications using SEDAs existing spokespeople. This would legitimise our message and give us maximum reach. 3. Convert initial online interest into a database of carers that we could activate at an Open Day. Successful candidates could become advocates to recruit more carers.


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