The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association provides guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services that meet the needs of blind and partially sighted people so that they can enjoy the same rights, opportunities and responsibilities as everyone else.
It also campaigns for the rights of people who are blind and partially sighted, educates the public about eye care and invests in eye disease research.
Andrex toilet tissue has featured a puppy on its packs since 1971, and the brand has often given away toy puppies in promotions on its packs.
Kimberly-Clark, the brand's owner, claims that one in 10 households in the UK owns one of its toy puppies. The Help Turn Puppies into Guide Dogs campaign was designed to raise funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind by capitalising on the appeal of the brand's mascot.
HOW IT WORKED
The campaign was launched in August last year, with special promotional packs offering consumers a limited-edition toy guide dog puppy wearing a blue training jacket. The puppy was featured alongside the charity's logo on the front of 25 million packs.
To receive the toy, consumers were asked to collect six tokens from the packs and send them off with a £5 cheque, of which £1.50 went to the charity.
When consumers received their puppies, they were also sent a card enabling them to register their puppies online to train them 'virtually' to be guide dogs.
The promotion was reinforced by television advertising showing the Andrex puppy turning into a guide dog, as well as point-of-sale information and a special prize draw in supermarkets offering shoppers the chance to win a puppy toy.
Andrex spent a total of £2.5m on the campaign, and sold 135,370 toy puppies.
This helped it raise £203,055 for Guide Dogs for the Blind - enough to train just over 50 guide dog puppies..
Visits to the www.andrexpuppy.co.uk website increased from 17,000 to 73,000 per month when the promotion was launched. Two thousand people who bought the toy answered a follow-up consumer survey, which revealed that more than two-thirds of the respondents (67 per cent) thought the Guide Dogs for the Blind link encouraged them to participate.
Sixty-one percent of puppy toys were bought for children or grandchildren, and more than 80 percent of respondents believed the puppy was good or excellent value for money.
Julie Armour, corporate fundraising national account manager for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, said: "The campaign was successful from a number of perspectives. The synergy between guide dogs and Andrex puppies is uncomplicated in the eyes of consumers, and we are delighted with the campaign's success."
EXPERT VIEW - PAUL GALE, HEAD OF DESIGN, BURNETT WORKS
This is a clever and effective blend of product, charity and value for money for consumers - a great example of a corporate tie-up done well.
Andrex is a successful brand, and its sales promotion partnership with Guide Dogs for the Blind is mutually beneficial. It strengthens customer loyalty to Andrex and opens up a new relationship with the charity.
The cute puppy toy most definitely harnesses children's pester power - but for a good cause. The opportunity to register your toy online for 'virtual' guide dog training makes it educational too - everyone's a winner.
The TV advert successfully merges the straight, inexpensive charity ad style with the core Andrex brand, and the pack flash is simple but effective.
I've not seen the online element of the campaign, but I hope it offered a continuing relationship with the charity - promoting the need and perhaps even suggesting a regular gift. 'Andrex puppy to guide dog' is a great connection, but it does keep the focus on the dogs - there's very little information about the people who will benefit from this campaign.
Overall, though, it proves charities can benefit greatly in the commercial marketplace - if they can identify a partner with an excellent brand fit.