Bronze Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

Product / ServiceDOG ADOPTION
CategoryA08. Corporate Social Responsibility
Idea Creation COLENSO BBDO Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Media Placement STARCOM Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Production EXIT FILMS Auckland, NEW ZEALAND


Name Company Position
Nick Worthington Colenso BBDO Creative Chairman
Andre Sallowicz Colenso BBDO Creative Director
Simon Vicars Colenso BBDO Creative Director
Andre Sallowicz Colenso BBDO Art Director
Simon Vicars Colenso BBDO Copywriter
Ahmad Salim Colenso BBDO Group Business Director
Abbi Barker Colenso BBDO Business Director
Alice Sopwith Colenso BBDO Account Manager
Ed Gunn Colenso BBDO Planner
Paul Gunn Colenso BBDO PR & Activation
Oliver Downs MARS NZ Marketing Director
Cormac van den Hoofdakker MARS NZ Marketing Manager - Pet
Mark Delvin Impact PR Director
Tim Freeman Colenso BBDO Experience Design Director
Will Thorrat Colenso BBDO Digital Producer
Dean Pomfrett Colenso BBDO Design Director
Craig Thompson Colenso BBDO User Experience Architect
David Arcus Colenso BBDO Lead Developer
Alex Krivenko Colenso BBDO Front-end Developer
Emma Tait Colenso BBDO Senior Product and Experience
Serena Fountain-Jones Colenso BBDO Senior Producer
Will Bailey Colenso BBDO Photographer
Jodi Davis Colenso BBDO Senior Mac Op
Reks Kok Colenso BBDO Retoucher
Jen Storey Colenso BBDO Head of Broadcast
Declan Cahill Exit Films Production Company Producer
Adam Gunser Exit Films Director
Pete Ritchie n/a Colourist

The Campaign

Empty Nest Syndrome is the loneliness parents feel when their children leave home. But while these parents sit in a quiet house lamenting how quickly their kids grew up, a dog sits in a shelter longing for a home. A home it can fill with love and companionship. Our idea was to connect these abandoned dogs with lonely parents. The Pedigree Child Replacement Programme targeted ‘Empty Nesters’ with a comically blunt campaign encouraging them to adopt a dog and ‘move on’ when their kids moved out. All work directed parents to our website ( where they could match the characteristics of their child with the characteristics of an abandoned dog– ensuring the perfect replacement was found. To further incentivise adoption we offered parents the chance to turn their child’s old stuff into new stuff for their dog. Bedspreads were turned into dog beds, and beloved jackets into dog jackets.

Creative Execution

We launched The Pedigree Child Replacement Programme through three films that played in cinema, TV and online. When viewed online each film carried a second endframe that promoted our service offering to turn kid’s things into new stuff for dogs. By clicking through parents were taken to our adoption website. Here they could match the characteristics of their child with the characteristics of a dog in a shelter – ensuring the perfect replacement was found. Once they had submitted their application to adopt a dog, they filled in a second form. This let them tell us what item they wanted ‘dogified’. If the item was clothing, doggy measurements were required to ensure the perfect fit. Pattern makers turned children’s old bedspreads into dog beds, before sending them back to the lucky new owners. Trophies were even chopped down to create the perfect dog bowl.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results

The Pedigree Child Replacement Programme received global media attention, featuring on prime time news and driving mass interest in dog adoption. The campaign drove an 824% lift in dog adoption enquiries through animal shelters as well as a 16% increase in Pedigree’s sales. Visits to the site far exceeded forecasted expectations, forcing us to find more shelter dogs to meet the demand. 52% of parents who adopted a dog applied to have their kid’s old things turned into dog things. In six weeks we got more online dog adoption enquiries than in the last two years combined, helping to make The Pedigree Child Replacement Programme the most successful Adoption Drive campaign in almost a decade. In a country of just 4.5 million people, we achieved over 15m impressions during the campaign period.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service

When children leave home, they leave behind more than just broken hearted parents. They often leave a room full of stuff. So, to promote The Pedigree Child Replacement Programme, we created a service that let parents turn the crap their kids left behind when they moved out, into cool stuff for their newly adopted dog. Parents who completed the adoption process at were given the opportunity to send us their child’s bedspread, clothing or even hard-earned trophies, and we converted them into bespoke promotional items.

‘Empty Nesters’ are considered to be anyone between the age of 45 and 75, living without children. They have the highest disposable income of any other group, so they’re often targeted by advertisers. To stand out and to ensure our work generated interactions, we spoke specifically to our target market’s life stage in a totally unrestrained and comically brutal way. Our approach to increase adoptions was to build unavoidable intrigue around the campaign. This started with the name. ‘The Pedigree Child Replacement Programme’ was received with disbelief by media outlets, with its brutal honesty helping to spread the campaign through earned and paid channels. Our promotion to help parents convert their children’s stuff into new stuff for dogs built even further on that intrigue, with hundreds of parents tagging their children in Facebook posts promoting the service.

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