Dogs Trust Rehoming Campaign 2012 – Perfect Fit


The team

Roland Hafenrichter, Nick Strauss, Graeme Robertson, Paul Brown, Phil White, Mat Head, Giles Horton, Victoria Farrall, Adam Larter, Hannah Sergeant.

How did the campaign make a difference?

This work redefined rescue dogs as appealing companions, while repositioning Dogs Trust's rehoming centres as high-quality, caring homes. It reversed the recent decline in rehoming numbers, actually re-igniting rehoming growth by more 16%.

What details of the strategy make this a winning entry?

Dogs Trust is the largest dog welfare charity in the UK, with 18 rehoming centres; its rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes abandoned dogs. But, while it rescues and rehabilitates many thousands of dogs, the number of rehomed dogs actually declined 10% year on year before this campaign. Interest in rescue dogs was low, and no-one knew where to get one if they were interested in doing so. Furthermore, research showed that perception of dogs and rescue centres is often negative: the dogs were seen as damaged goods and dog rehoming centres as uncaring, unwelcoming jails. This campaign needed to transform those opinions, increase the appeal of rescue dogs, and significantly increase awareness of local centres. TV was clearly the most cost-effective solution to reach a large local audience but budget was limited. The solution was to carefully match and map every individual ITV transmitter facility to each Dogs Trust centre's catchment area, overlaying low-cost network digital channels to build a higher level of national awareness.

How did creativity bring the strategy to life?