Humane Society adopts positive positioning

The Toronto Humane Society doesn't want to be a downer anymore. The animal shelter's recent rebranding campaign, developed by Toronto-based Leo Burnett and Starcom, aims to change perceptions about just what it is.

The Toronto Humane Society doesn’t want to be a downer anymore. The animal shelter’s recent rebranding campaign, developed by Toronto-based Leo Burnett and Starcom, aims to change perceptions about just what it is.

‘They wanted to establish themselves as an adoption centre versus a hospital or a place where animals go to die,’ says David Moore, Leo Burnett’s president/CEO. ‘A lot of people thought of the Humane Society as a very sad place.’

Adopting a strategy more typical of CPG than NGOs, the new effort focuses on the org’s benefits. The campaign focuses on pet adoption from the consumer’s perspective by illustrating the upside of getting a new pet.

Its print and OOH executions feature simple illustrations of cute animals, with headlines like ‘Change a life. Or nine.’ It debuts a new logo and abbreviates the org’s name to simply THS, with the tag, ‘Adopt a new life.’

‘When we spoke with people who had adopted, it was a very positive experience – they felt good about themselves for adopting versus going to the pet store,’ says Moore. ‘There were a lot of inherently positive experiences in the brand that weren’t coming through [in previous campaigns].’

The campaign currently includes print, TV and wild postings.

client: John Andressen, manager of fundraising; Lee Oliver, senior communicator, The Toronto Humane Society

agency: Leo Burnett

CD: Judy John

group creative head: Israel Diaz

copywriters: Steve Persico, Cam Boyd, Marcus Sagar

ADs: Monique Kelley, Anthony Chelvanathan

account team: Jen Greck, Katie Musgrave

broadcast producer: Cathy Woodward

print producer: Gladys Bachand

logo design: Caio Oyofuso

illustrator: Monique Kelley

animation house: Electric Company

animation: Craig Sheldon, Lauren Gregg,

Kangaroo Alliance

post-production: Crush

music: Grayson Matthews

You are cordially invited to submit your new, dead clever and previously unrevealed campaigns to: editorial director Mary Maddever at mmaddever@brunico.com and CD Stephen Stanley at sstanley@brunico.com, co-curators of strategy’s Creative space.