Case Study: WSPA

The animal welfare charity explains how using shock tactics in its dog farms appeal paid off

The WSPA's dog farms appeal leaflet
The WSPA's dog farms appeal leaflet

Organisation: WSPA
Campaign: The dog meat trade
Agency: The Good Agency

For its campaign to end the dog meat trade, the World Society for the Protection of Animals wanted to show supporters the brutal reality of dog farms in South Korea.

But some of the images the animal welfare charity wanted to use in its direct mail appeal were so shocking that it decided to put them in a sealed leaflet - the first time it had done this - with a clear warning about the content.

"Dog meat is one of the worst types of animal cruelty that we work to stop and we needed to get that across with images," says Kerry Vandersypen, development and retention manager at WSPA.

"These images explain the issues, but we have to be very careful about how we use them." She says the charity tried to ensure that young children did not see the images.

The campaign, which ran in September 2011, sent direct mail and emails to supporters. Mail packs were sent to 38,971 addresses and emails to 71,234.

It raised £169,401 - beating its target by £18,966 - and cost £33,125.

"Some supporters said they did not look at the pack but did donate," says Vandersypen. "We are not trying to offend for the sake of offending. It is more about the truth."

Chris Arnold, creative director, Creative Orchestra AdvertisingEXPERT VIEW: Chris Arnold, creative director, Creative Orchestra Advertising

Wow! Sometimes the truth is the most powerful weapon you have and everything else just gets in the way. Especially when it's as shocking as this.

I am not your typical animal lover, but this campaign hits even me with dramatic effect. I just wanted to do something, and now: that's the power of a good campaign.

Given that we are a nation of dog lovers, I think this will score off the scale - and, one hopes, put an end to this disgusting trade in animals.

Expert rating:
Creativity: 3
Delivery: 5
Total: 8 out of 10

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