Client: Mars NZ
Title: Pedigree Child Replacement Programme
Media: traditional media, digital, integrated
Country: New Zealand
Date Of Campaign: March - April 2017
Background: 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.So, we created the Pedigree Child Replacement Programme –a service that pairs abandoned dogs with abandoned 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 (replacethem.co.nz) where they could match the characteristics of their child with the characteristics of an abandoned dog– ensuring the perfect replacement was found.
Idea: Pedigree’s global mission is to make the world a better place for dogs, and in doing so increase brand love. With that in mind Pedigree asked us to find loving homes for a growing number of abandoned dogs. Of the 3338 dogs that went into Auckland City shelters last year, only 671 were adopted. The majority of the dogs put down were young and healthy.Our objective was to raise awareness of the plight of shelter dogs and, at the same time, drive New Zealanders to respond by adopting a dog. So we bought banner space on Skype and print ads in gossip magazines. TV ads beamed into lonely living rooms and radio ads played on the quiet drive to work. Digital displays at airports even encouraged parents to replace their kids the moment they left the country. Everywhere parents were, we were there to offer them the perfect child replacement– a dog longing for a home. To create the print campaign, we recreated old family photos. But in each photo the kids had been replaced by dogs. The print campaign drove lonely parents to replacethem.co.nz. Here they could match the characteristics of their child who had moved out with a dog longing for a home. To create the outdoor campaign, we recreated old family photos. But in each photo the kids had been replaced by dogs. The outdoor campaign drove lonely parents to replacethem.co.nz. Here they could match the characteristics of their child who had moved out with a dog longing for a home.
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% lift in Pedigree’s sales. Visits to the site far exceeded forecasted expectations, forcing us to find more shelter dogs to meet the demand. 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.