Dogs Trust

Christmas social media campaign

Digital | Marketing Communications

  • Bringing one of the world’s best-loved slogans to life on social media for a major charity Christmas campaign.

  • How do they make a difference?

    Dogs Trust is a national treasure of a charity here in the UK. Originally the National Canine Defence League they are the country’s largest dog welfare charity, caring for over 15,000 dogs each year across their network of rehoming centres. Their slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ was originally created in 1978 and became a phonomenon – on countless bumper stickers and in the psyche of a nation of animal lovers for the last 40 years.

  • What we did for them

    Dogs Trust had been working with an advertising agency on their 2019 TV campaign – the tear-jerking story of Corky, a bouncy cork puppy who appears amidst the chaos of a familiar Christmas dinner scene. As he’s swept away with the rest of the leftovers the following morning the harsh reality of the fate of many ‘Christmas gift’ dogs becomes explicit.

  • We worked with footage from the advert and combined it with other graphics to bring the story to life on social media. The famous slogan had been beautifully hand-lettered and we animated the artwork to bring a festive blast of energy to the campaign. We created optimised assets to communicate Dogs Trust’s message across various formats on Facebook, Instagram stories, Twitter and other online channels, as well as creating a bespoke box of festive goodies to mail out to supporters and influencers.

  • How did this make a difference?

    The shocking truth is that online searches for the words ‘buy a puppy’ spiked by a huge 44% in the week before Christmas 2018 compared to the average for the rest of the year, with a spike also appearing in January 2019 of people wishing to rehome their furry friend. This campaign was conceived to raise awareness of the reality when this happens, urging people not to take the decision to gift someone a dog for Christmas lightly. Our role enabled the message to be clearly, consistently and creatively communicated across their millions of followers online as well as new markets through strategic paid advertising.

“Upshot are highly professional, efficient and easy to work with. As a client, we could not have asked for anything more. Their approach to a project is 100% collaborative, so much so that you feel like they are extended team members. With a flexible working style, Owen and the team incorporated our ideas and feedback, as well as effectively communicating their thoughts and brilliant creative design. We felt as though they truly cared about Dogs Trust cause and the objectives we were hoping to achieve. I would highly recommend Upshot as the go-to creatives for any organisation.”

Mia Jones, Marketing Manager, Dogs Trust