The best 5 charity ads hoping to make the world a better place for animals

Did you know in the UK an estimated 15 million people give to animal charities every year? In fact, animal welfare is one of the most popular causes to support along with those of children and medical research. But with over 168K registered UK charities competing for donations can be difficult, which is where advertising comes in.

Most of us are familiar with the heart-wrenching ads from the likes of the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare which play on our emotions to get us to donate or adopt. But while these types of ads definitely make an impact, we would argue sometimes a softer approach is more effective. After all, it’s easy to turn the channel over if you see something distressing on screen.

In fact, we would go as far to say we love it when animal charities come up with something a bit more imaginative, even, dare we say, out of the box, to raise their profile. And we love it even more when they try to use their advertising to raise awareness around pet ownership and educate the public on what it really means.

So, without further ado, here are our top 5 favourite animal charity ads of all time.

Christmas Presents – Dogs Trust

Of course, the Dogs Trust is most well-known for its famous slogan ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ but the sad fact is after every Christmas they receive numerous calls (think in the region of 5,000!!) from people suddenly hit with the enormity of what being a dog owner really means.

So, back in 2018, they decided to really drill home that dogs aren’t Christmas presents by showing people treating their Christmas presents as though there were dogs. Walkies with a PlayStation anyone?

While light-hearted in tone, it emphasises the important message – that dogs should not be treated merely as Christmas presents.

Mini Me’s – The Mayhew

Well, this is certainly a novel way of encouraging people to adopt! Playing on the theme that owners look like their dogs, this outdoor campaign used a special facial recognition algorithm to pair people with a dog needing adoption who, yes you guessed it, looks like them. Once matched, the potential owner can then find out more about their ‘mini me’ including their needs, likes and dislikes. A lovely, fun campaign, which deservedly scooped an award at the Ocean Digital OOH Awards.

An ad for pets – Best Friends Animal Society

Okay, we admit this is from an American animal charity, but we love the fact this ad is actually aimed at pets not owners (yes, really!) and features a dog explaining how donations can help ensure no pet is left homeless.

What we particularly like is the dog’s barks are translated into human (rather than the dog being given a human voice) and whilst the cat playing the piano is slightly questionable, overall, it treats animals with a great deal of respect and dignity. And you know how we feel about that!

And the ending is just emotive enough to encourage people to donate.

Rescue is our favourite breed – Battersea

With 52% of people thinking animals in rescue centres often have health or behavioural problems, it’s not surprising many people opt to go for a specific breed instead. Battersea decided they needed to turn that on its head and tackle the misconception all rescue animals are damaged, old and a little bit sad.

We love how this ad puts the rescue animals front and centre and shows how each one has its own unique personality, oodles of energy and a definite sense of self. If this doesn’t encourage you to rescue nothing will.

Lockdown puppies – Dogs Trust

Nothing to do, bored, can’t be bothered to exercise, family unhappy – I know, let’s get a pet. Whilst that might seem a bit of a stretch, the pandemic saw 31% of people who had never thought of become pet owners before lockdown suddenly interested in getting a cat or a dog. And when Dogs Trust saw online searches about getting a puppy surge by 120%, they decided to do something about it. In a genius move they changed their famous slogan to

 ‘a dog is for life, not just for lockdown’. Their aim was to highlight that people should really think about how a dog would impact their lives not just during lockdown, but also when things get back to normal.

Animal charities - Lockdown ad from Dogs Trust

Whilst it was undoubtedly a great idea, their fear people would abandon their pets once lockdown was over sadly became a reality. Animal rescues were inundated with unwanted pets, and the RSPCA saw a 73% spike in puppies being abandoned after the pandemic.

The problem has only been exacerbated by the current cost of living crisis and is the primary reason we set up our own charitable initiative, Cans4Pets.

With some families struggling to feed their pets and having to make the awful decision to give them up altogether, we are asking people to donate so we can give pet food to food banks. If we can prevent just one family from having to make that heart-wrenching decision, then we’ll be happy.

And yes, we are shamelessly plugging it, because as all the above animal charities have shown, you should do your best to raise awareness and help make the world a better place for animals. So, if you feel you CAN help, please donate.