CAMPAIGNS: NCDL utilises Sven link to rehome pups - Promotional Stunt

Client: National Canine Defence League (NCDL)
Campaign: Ongoing rehoming dogs campaign from 16 centres
PR Team: In-house
Timescale: 31 May - 2 June
Budget: Nil

The National Canine Defence League (NCDL) seeks to protect all dogs from any form of mistreatment, both in the UK and abroad.

The charity is committed to the belief that no healthy dog should ever be destroyed, and that all dogs should be protected, wanted, suitably homed and cared for by responsible owners.

The charity seeks to achieve its aims through the work of its nationwide network of 16 rescue centres, through educational initiatives and advocacy work.

Welfare and profile-raising campaigns are ongoing and often formed or shaped spontaneously by current events.

Since the England football team's World Cup exploits had brought a feel-good factor to England, NCDL decided on a themed campaign. The PR team was keen to incorporate the name of popular England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson in the campaign.


To raise local residents' awareness of the NCDL re-homing centres in Merseyside and nationwide, and rehome dogs at its 16 centres.

Strategy and Plan

The four-strong press team in London contacted re-homing centres to see if any puppies had arrived recently in any of the centres.

The Merseyside centre reported it had just received three ten-week-old Labrador crosses, who were immediately referred to as the 'hat-trick' of pups and named 'Sven', 'Goran' and 'Eriksson'.

Each puppy was then described as characteristic of their famous namesake: Sven is cool and collected; Goran has an eye for the ladies and; Eriksson likes to relax to a little classical music.

The Press Association in Liverpool was then contacted to start the campaign rolling. The angle taken was that the three pups were loveable and typical of the type of dogs that NCDL is seeking to rehome.

Measurement and Evaluation

Thirty-five regional papers ran the story, including the Liverpool Echo, Southampton Echo, Yorkshire Post and many regional and local dailies in those areas where the NCDL has centres.

Regional TV and radio coverage was achieved with Granada TV featuring the pups on their morning, lunchtime and evening news.

Satellite TV station Channel One ran the story on its lunchtime news and interviews were broadcast on Radio Merseyside and other local radio stations.


Within an hour of the first features appearing, all three pups - and all of the other puppies in the centre - had been booked for rehoming.

'Hundreds' of telephone enquires were made to centres about offering NCDL dogs homes - a surge of national interest that resulted from the campaign.

The Merseyside centre had an open day on 9 June. Due to the success of the Sven, Goran and Eriksson campaign, more than 1,200 people attended, despite heavy rain.

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