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NSPCA “Start a Dogfight” campaign wins’ gold at the Assegai Awards

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    NSPCA “Start a Dogfight” campaign wins’ gold at the Assegai Awards NSPCA “Start a Dogfight” campaign wins’ gold!

    NSPCA “Start a Dog Fight” campaign wins’ gold at the Assegai Integrated Marketing Awards

    By Karabo Malete | November 27, 2016

    NSPCA “Start a Dog Fight” campaign wins’ gold at the Assegai Integrated Marketing Awards

    Grey Africa’s controversial NSPCA campaign to raise awareness about the scourge of dogfighting in SA won gold at the Assegai Integrated Marketing Awards. The campaign won two gold Assegai awards and scooped the Newcomer of the Year award. The golds were for Experiential Media and Direct Response Mass Media. 

    Grey Advertising Africa and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) created a social media storm on Monday 27 June by promoting a fake dog fight on a mobile trailer which was seen parked and driving along various popular traffic spots in Johannesburg. The campaign was planned to roll out over three days with the reveal taking place towards the afternoon of Wednesday, 29 June. It kicked off with a mobile billboard advertising a dogfight between “Thor” and “Nitro,” with the ominous promise “There can only be one winner.”   The public reaction was immediate and voluble.  People were outraged.  The website and the phone line advertised on the billboard were both inundated with complaints and disgust – expressed in no uncertain terms. The outcry was carefully monitored, and at its peak the mobile billboard went out again, this time telling everyone that the dogfight was a fake – but that real dogfights just like it happens all the time, in the most outwardly respectable neighbourhoods.  Simultaneously, the NSCPA put out a press release announcing that they were behind the stunt and appealing to people to turn their outrage into action and join the fight against dogfighting. The conversation continued to rage, with some people feeling we had employed underhanded tactics in getting our message across, and many thousands more enthusiastically getting behind the campaign. In an independent Twitter Poll, 64% of respondents rated the campaign “So clever.”

    With zero media spend on the campaign, our website received tens of thousands of visits, from people in as many as 110 countries.  In less than 24 hours the NSPCA’s story was covered (for free) by The Citizen, the SABC, eNCA, News24, Jacaranda News, 702, the Sandton Chronicle, Mix FM, 2OceansVibe, and Algoa FM.  The story appeared across two pages of the Sunday Times. That exposure alone would usually have cost around R250 000.  Three days after launch, the NSPCA had received R35 000 in donations, through the SMS and Snapscan channels specifically set up for the purpose. The heightened media coverage put the topic of dog fighting in the spotlight allowing the NSPCA to dramatically raise awareness of dog fighting and very importantly to educate the public on the signs of dog fighting activity in their neighbourhoods. This led to an influx of tip-offs from members of the public who had read our message and wanted to report suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods. Forty five dogs have been rescued from dog fighting so far as a result of the campaign.

    “The purpose of the campaign was to give the NSPCA a large enough media platform so they could inform and educate the public of the evils of dogfighting. The media airtime generated by the campaign for NSPCA was tremendous. It made a difference in that it made people more aware of what is happening to dogs in South Africa. We applaud the bravery of the NSPCA for backing the campaign so enthusiastically” said Glenn Jeffery, Creative Director at Grey Africa.

    “This kind of famous and effective work makes us extra proud because it made a real difference in the fight against this horrific sport. It’s the kind of work that matters to people.” concluded Glenn.

    A DMASA Assegai Award is a mark of victory in Direct Marketing excellence. The Assegai Awards acknowledge and awards those whose Direct Marketing campaigns deliver exceptional results. The award gala evening took place last week Thursday, 10 November 2016.

     

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