Last week Kiwis were introduced to New Zealand’s newest charity, Pet Refuge New Zealand, which aims to build the country’s first shelter dedicated to housing pets affected by family violence. The four-week launch campaign via DDB New Zealand, had a target of raising $250,000, which was surpassed inside the first seven days.
Pet Refuge will provide a temporary safe haven for pets while their owners escape abuse. The initiative comes as new research from Women’s Refuge reveals harrowing stories of animal abuse. The charity surveyed women whose partners had abused or threatened their pets. 23% said their partner had killed an animal. 53% said they delayed leaving the relationship out of fear for an animal’s safety.
Hearing of this issue, DDB New Zealand threw its support behind the cause, developing a large-scale integrated launch campaign to get Kiwis onboard. The campaign launched on Monday 20 May with a hero film and a New Zealand Herald front page exclusive, and rolled out across the week with a comprehensive NZME media partnership, TVCs, social and influencer activity, and public relations.
DDB NZ CEO, Justin Mowday, says this issue stuck a chord with many within the agency and he’s been proud to see how the team have got behind the campaign: “The creative team leading this, James and Christie, have dreamed up such a powerful campaign platform which has already connected emotionally with Kiwis on a huge scale.
“The DDB business management team on this have worked through some pretty complex issues and sensitivities which naturally come with a delicate issue like this. Right across our agency group, so many people have touched this campaign and treated it with a care, passion and creativity that has been awesome to see.”
Also partnering on this campaign were Goodoil Films, Franklin Road Music & Sound, Blockhead, Mango Communications, NZME., QMS Media, Val Morgan and Bauer Media.
Pet Refuge is the brainchild of Julie Chapman, founder and CEO of children’s charity KidsCan.
Says Chapman: “For many people, pets are family. For victims of domestic violence, they provide real solace. Leaving them behind with an abusive partner just isn’t an option. We hope that if victims know their pets will be well looked after while they escape, it will remove a barrier to them leaving.”
Chapman says DDB were the perfect agency partner to launch this important initiative to Kiwis, and her first viewing of the hero film left her speechless: “So much world-class thinking, talent and creativity has gone into this campaign and we at Pet Refuge couldn’t be more grateful. To our agency and media partners; DDB, Goodoil, Franklin Road, Blockhead, Mango Communications, NZME., QMS Media, Val Morgan and Bauer Media – thank you, thank you, thank you. To see this dream become a reality, and to achieve our funding goal just a week into our campaign is incredible.”
Although it has met its funding target, Pet Refuge New Zealand is encouraging those who still wish to donate do so. Additional funding will go towards enabling the charity to start caring for the first vulnerable pets when it opens its doors. To donate to this important cause, visit http://pldg.me/petrefuge. For more information, visit petrefuge.org.nz.
Client: Pet Refuge Charitable Trust
Creative agency: DDB New Zealand
Production: Goodoil, Franklin Road, Blockhead VFX
Director: Michelle Savill
Vocalist: Julia Deans
Photographer: Charles Howells (Collective Force)
Communications: Mango Communications
Media Partner: NZME
Additional Media Partners: QMS Media, Val Morgan and Bauer Media