We all know about love at first sight. But what about love at first pet? In this campaign by Havas Geneva for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), a unique installation made with faux animal fur reminds people of the joy of falling in love with a new pet.
With a simple gaze, folks are filled with that familiar feeling—a feeling that the SPCA hopes will convince people to adopt a pet. Gabriel Mauron, creative director at Havas Geneva, tells us how he and his team came up with this idea.
How did you come up with this campaign idea?
This year, we wanted to create a new experience—something that draws the attention of people and then surprises them. So, we started thinking about how we could apply this idea to SPCA and their connection with animals.
What insight led to this campaign?
We built this entire campaign around the first reflex people have when they meet an animal.
How did you recreate the initial connection between pet lovers and animals?
The challenge was to reproduce this unique feeling when families meet their pets for the first time. We know that this is a key moment in the beginning of the relationship between people and animals. Naturally, this led us to create an experiential ad.
What was the message that the SPCA wanted to convey?
We wanted to recreate the first feeling that happens when we pet an animal. And then, of course, we hope this will lead to people coming to the animal shelter to adopt.
How does this type of outdoor advertising be more effective than, say, a broadcast campaign?
The fur installations are exhibits that speak to all of us. The elements of surprise and fun will help people to remember the installation and connect with the animals.
What, in particular, makes these billboards effective?
It’s a simple translation of a powerful insight supported by a fun experience.
What has been the reaction to this campaign so far?
The reaction’s been very positive. As you can see on the video, people have been moved by this unique approach. They were entertained, and parents were thrilled when their kids ran just to touch these billboards. And we all know the influence that kids can have on the final decision.
What is something about this campaign that most people don’t know?
We took the billboard back to the agency and realized that a few clever clogs tried to burn the hairs. Don’t be afraid, nothing too dramatic here. I can tell that the dog and the cat are in a very good shape.