According to SPCA, over 1.5 million shelter dogs are euthanised every year. This is mainly
because three in four households prefer to buy a pet from a store instead of adopting one from a shelter, leaving shelters unable to cope with massive numbers of unwanted animals.
In Singapore, people do not adopt shelter dogs because of the perception that there is something wrong with them—whether related to neglect or sickness.
This campaign was created to change the perception that shelter dogs are flawed or imperfect compared to animals sold at pet stores. Ultimately, its aim was to shift the negative perception of shelter dogs and improve attitudes towards adoption.
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To do that, Edelman Singapore produced a video to highlight the stories of nine Singaporeans who have been through difficult ordeals in their lives, including physical disability, breast cancer and sexual abuse. They were invited to record voiceovers about their past traumas and were then asked to also read out the stories of others who had also gone through trials. Finally, it's revealed that the subjects of these similar tales are dogs from five local shelters.
The humans go on to meet their shelter buddies while the video points out that dogs with past traumas are often seen as challenging and pitiful, lowering their chances of being adopted.
The success of the campaign helped make it become the largest cross-shelter collaboration in Asia—rallying 15 shelters in countries including China, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore.
With zero dollars spent on media buy and relying purely on organic reach, the campaign hit 5.2 million impressions within the first two weeks. Sharing through earned media and social platforms resulted in high engagement rates and adoption enquiries increased by 21 per cent.