WORKSHOP: Case Study - WSPA ads aim to capture bears' plight


Project World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) donor campaign

Agency Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw

Background WSPA wanted to launch a media donor recruitment drive to raise money to help prevent cruelty to animals.

The charity wanted to use its existing Libearty awareness campaign as the creative hook. Libearty focused on the plight of bears exploited for entertainment in countries such as Turkey and Pakistan. After WSPA's previous success in lobbying the Turkish, Greek and Pakistani governments to stop bear dancing and baiting, the charity has turned its attention to animal cruelty in other countries including Japan and China.

Aims of campaign The main objective of the campaign was to increase the number of donors giving at least £3 a month via direct debit. It wanted the money raised to at least cover the campaign costs.

How it worked Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw wanted to create a campaign that appealed to people's sensibilities without offending them. The agency was asked to drive home the horrific treatment of bears without the actual cruelty being shown.

A direct response TV (DRTV) ad, run over six weeks and scheduled across six channels, including Channel 4 and Sky News, featured the plight of a maltreated bear.

Paul Kitcatt, creative partner at the agency, said: "The disturbing sight of chained bears in captivity rocking relentlessly backwards and forwards forms the basis of the proposition, namely a request for consumers to take a repetitive action of their own and authorise a direct debit every month to support the WSPA."

The television campaign was integrated with one million inserts and press ads in a range of broadsheets and upmarket magazines. One insert showed a bear chained by the nose looking through two bars of text detailing the animal's miserable condition. The image carried the strap line "Will you cut the bars?"

Results The initial test DRTV campaign delivered thousands of new donors at a better than break even return on the cost of the campaign.

The charity has so far been pleased with the campaign's ability to convert responses into regular direct debit donors.

WSPA has plans to roll out the campaign to other countries if it proves to be a success in the UK. "It's early days for results of the full integrated campaign,

said Richard Brookes, head of fundraising in the UK at WSPA. "But we're hopeful it will do as well as the DRTV, which exceeded our expectations. We have been delighted with the results so far."

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