Advertising for rescue pets often focuses on pity for the neglected animals, appealing to people's nurturing instincts and even guilt. However, a new campaign for U.K. animal charity Battersea (formerly Battersea Cats & Dogs' Home) turns that on its head, and turns the "rescue" aspect of a pet into a positive and desirable quality.
The campaign, by FCB Inferno, is positioned around the hashtag "#Rescueismyfavourite breed." It kicks off with a TV spot that portrays rescue pets as fun, full of character, "original" rather than a "fashion statement" and "not perfect but worth it." The ad was directed by BAFTA and Emmy award winner Mateo Willis, who has worked on nature shows such as "Blue Planet 2." It ends by informing us that with one in four pets in the U.K. a rescue pet, "rescue is our favourite breed."
The campaign aims to tackle misconceptions about rescue pets—such as they all have health or behavioral problems, and attempts to move away from depicting them as helpless victims. It also tries to encourage people away from a trend of selecting animals by fashionable breed (including the current Instagram-fueled vogue for French bulldogs). Battersea has actually removed breed filters from its own online galleries to encourage people not to select by breed, and has found that this leads them to view more animal profiles.
“With Rescue Is Our Favourite Breed, we joyfully celebrate rescue pets as individuals, portraying them as heroes not victims and showing rescue pets as the best pets, who all deserve a second chance and a happy home," said Sharon Jiggins, executive VP at FCB Inferno in a statement. "In doing so we want to fundamentally change perceptions by elevating rescue to a breed in its own right."