A partnership between Guide Dogs and the toilet roll manufacturer Andrex has an air of inevitability about it. The branding kinship represented by golden labradors - in their infancy or grown up - is hard to miss. "It is such a natural fit," says Jayne George, Guide Dogs' director of fundraising. "The affinity is obvious."
The two organisations have worked together before, raising £254,000 in 2006. However, the current partnership is more ambitious. Andrex is marking the 40th anniversary of the 1972 debut of the iconic toilet tissue advertising puppy, and the company aims to raise £300,000 to finance the training of 40 puppies as guide dogs. The bulk of that money will come through sales of a soft toy puppy, with 50p from each sale donated to the charity.
Through an existing online loyalty programme, Andrex consumers will also be able to donate to the guide dog training of specific puppies. Guide Dogs is hoping to convert Andrex's one-off donors into long-term supporters. This would give the partnership a legacy beyond the three-month duration of the promotion, which lasts until the end of the year.
Andrex is spending £2m on the campaign, which has included six television adverts. "That's a marketing budget that charities just don't have," says George. "Our prompted awareness is very strong, but our unprompted awareness is much lower than it is for other charities of a similar size.
"The holistic marketing aim is to drive that front-of-mind awareness of Guide Dogs. This campaign will be hugely helpful in achieving that."