CategoryA07. Not-for-profit / Charity / Government
EntrantSPCA Singapore, SINGAPORE
Media Placement FORSMAN & BODENFORS Singapore, SINGAPORE
Post Production FORSMAN & BODENFORS Singapore, SINGAPORE


Name Company Position
Jaipal Singh Gill Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Executive Director
Chevonne Cheng Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Head of Communications
Qihao Shum Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore Creative
Firrdaus Yusoff Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore Creative
Jason Feng Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore Designer
Adrian Ortiz Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore Campaign Manager
Julia Blomquist Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore Planner

Why is this work relevant for Media?

With everyone stuck at home, plenty of brands quickly realised that to reach audiences, communication efforts needed to shift from a mix of online and offline to mostly digital/social channels. However this also meant there was even more noise in the digital ad space, and so catching the audience's attention was going to be more challenging. Instead of joining the clutter of web and social banners, we stepped away from it and used an untapped and free media platform that had not been infiltrated by brand comms. We went to where the audience is at their most focused: Zoom meetings.


SPCA is a non-profit animal welfare organization that provides care and shelter for rescue animals. They also help find these furry friends loving homes through their regular adoption initiatives. But when a partial lockdown was rolled out in Singapore, SPCA had to put a temporary stop on their weekly adoption initiatives, which also meant animals were stuck in the shelters with no definite end in sight. We wanted to find a way for SPCA to resume their adoption drives and connect these pets with potential owners, while everyone was stuck at home.

Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)

Humans naturally find small animals cute. Austrian biologist K. Lorenz calls this "kinderschema" which suggests that humans almost always react positively when they see little pets because they resemble the form of human babies. When we see pets, we see youth, harmlessness, and need, and those elicit a nurturing response. Knowing this, we knew that the best way to get people to act is to put the cutest pets front and center-- of their computer screens! By putting SPCA pets on wallpapers, we encouraged people to talk about pets more, and heavily fuel their desire to adopt these animals. With the average 25-40yo Singaporean spending at least 3 hours on Zoom calls every working day, having the BackgroundHomes pets on their screens meant more people became aware of pets that are up for adoption, as well as SPCA's animal welfare work.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

The lockdown inevitably ushered in 'new normal' ways of doing things-- especially when it comes to social interactions. Reports show that in Q2 of 2020, the top 3 most downloaded apps in Singapore were Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. Everyone was conducting their meetings, social gatherings, workouts, reunions, baby showers, even dates on these platforms. Aside from TV and phones, people had nowhere else to turn to but their meeting screens. To make these 'meetings' a little less mundane (or perhaps to hide how messy their apartments are!), people started using virtual backgrounds. They ranged from picturesque holiday destinations, their old office space, favourite movie posters, or for some, their dream living space. So we thought could we use this trend and bring people's attention to the shelter animals that need new homes? With this we created Background Homes, where we put these furry friends in everyone's 'homes'.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

To remain true to the mission, we made sure to feature actual shelter animals that are up for adoption from SPCA. We took photos from their adoption gallery page and placed these on photos of different homes, to show people how much more exciting their homes could look like if they had the most adorable pet lounging in their homes. The virtual backgrounds that show a nice comfy living room came complete with the pet sitting next to you, their name, age, and a simple yet catchy URL where they can download their own backgrounds, and more importantly find out how to adopt and turn this virtual pet into reality. The website also served as a gateway to other SPCA services: education, donation, animal care. On the day of launch, we published the website, sent out press releases, and also pushed social content on SPCA's social channels.

List the results (30% of vote)

The results were incredible. With zero budget for the shoot, production, or PR, Background Homes was able to garner fantastic outcomes. We received free coverage from various digital outlets from lifestyle, mom & kid magazines, marketing & trade, and even major broadsheets. This led to a surge in visit rate to the SPCA website, going up by 23% since lockdown started. Inquiries for adoption also went back up surpassing the numbers from the start of the year. To top it off, all of the pets featured on the wallpapers were adopted and found new homes!