First things first - I am a dog owner and I agree that all dogs should have a happy Christmas no matter how old they are. And this piece tells me that money can buy Sadie's happiness. I don't doubt it. But why do these jobs always look exactly the same? It's a shame in this instance, because few of us here even realised that so many older animals faced such a plight. That's something that will resonate with all of us.
So for me it's a great cause, but it would have benefited from a different creative approach. This mail piece is aimed directly at all those octogenarian dog lovers out there, designed to tug at their generous hearts and wallets. The woeful tone and the choice of (more often than not) sad photographs, not to mention the tear-jerking poems, makes the problem look old and a little desperate. Giving more time to what has been achieved could have made the issues seem immediate (it is for Sadie) but solvable (it is, as with most things, with money) - and the result might have been a faster and bigger response.
The calendar is a really nice touch, and it does feel like a gift from the Blue Cross. It's just a shame its art direction lets it down. I've already mentioned the choice of pictures, but it's not laid out well enough for it to be functional and to keep this appeal at the front of people's minds throughout the year.
Although as a whip-wielding creative critic I will be giving this campaign only five out of 10, as a soft-hearted dog lover I will be digging deep for this worthwhile initiative.