Pet refuge campaign goes wild

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AUCKLAND, Today: DDB has unveiled the launch of Pet Refuge, NZ’s newest charity with a goal of building the country’s first shelter dedicated to providing a temporary safe haven for pets while their owners escape abuse. 

The four-week launch campaign – described (accurately) by the agency as “powerful” – had a target of raising $250,000, which was surpassed inside the first seven days.

The initiative comes as new research from Women’s Refuge reveals harrowing stories of animal abuse in many Kiwi homes.

The charity surveyed women whose partners had abused or threatened their pets – 23% said their partner had killed an animal, and 53% said they delayed leaving the relationship out of fear for their pet’s safety. 

Hearing of this issue, DDB threw their support behind the cause, developing a large-scale integrated launch campaign to get Kiwis onboard.

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 Conner and Christie Cooper, have dreamed up such a powerful campaign platform which has already connected emotionally with Kiwis on a huge scale.

“So many people have touched this campaign and treated it with a care, passion and creativity that has been awesome to see.”

“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. She said: “DDB were the perfect agency partner to launch this important initiative to Kiwis. The first viewing of the hero film left me 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, NZME., QMS, Val Morgan and Bauer Media – 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 we have met our funding target, Pet Refuge  are 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.”


Client: Pet Refuge Charitable Trust
Creative agency: DDB
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, Bauer Media

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