FAMOUSGREY , Brussels / GAIA / 2021
GAIA unites defenders of animal welfare and advocates for animal rights in Belgium. March 2020 was the start of the first lockdown in Belgium.
Social activities were no longer allowed, every day people were urged to stay inside and the number of persons we could have contact with was heavenly restricted to 1 person or only family members we live with. Which caused that many people to suddenly feel lonely and, to fill that gap they bought a dog.
Various news channels also reported that the first lockdown had caused many Belgians to buy a dog on impulse. The consequence of this impulsive purchase is that many dogs were dumped at a shelter afterward. Dog adoption increased by 120%. After the lockdown, the abandonment rate was 240%. Getting a dog is serious business, it should not be an impulsive decision, formed the basis of the brief.
The creative solution for this campaign was ‘Not An Accessory’. Because A dog is not an accessory that you can change or throw away whenever you get tired of it or when it doesn’t fit your lifestyle any longer. For the visual translation of the campaign, GAIA activated leading fashion content creators to post a photo featuring their dog alongside today’s fashion trends. Each fashion item in the photo was tagged and the dog was also tagged with the caption ‘not_an_accessory’. A strong statement that should immediately convey the message that dogs are not an impulse buy like clothes and accessories.
Many people were struggling with loneliness during the first lockdown. Bringing a dog into their home seemed like the perfect solution for them to fill that void. Dog adoption increased by 120%. After the lockdown, the abandonment rate was 240%.
They love the idea and the benefits that dogs bring but not the responsibilities that come with it. Just as fashion trends come and go, buying a dog during the first lockdown became a trend. But a trend of short duration.
The message that really needed to resonate with the audience was ‘A dog is not a one-season fashion item. Stop treating dogs like an accessory. When you decide to take a dog into your home it should be a thoughtful decision because it is a lifetime commitment.’
For the visual translation of the campaign, GAIA activated leading fashion content creators to post a photo featuring their dog alongside today’s fashion trends. Each fashion item in the photo was tagged and the dog was also tagged with the caption ‘not_an_accessory’. A strong statement that should immediately convey the message that dogs are not an impulse buy like clothes and accessories.
The link ‘not_an_accessory, supported by GAIA Brussels, redirects to the Instagram page created to motivate dog lovers and dog owners to help spread awareness about the responsibilities of having a dog.
The main channels to get 'Not An Accessory' to our dog lovers were PR and social media using the ‘see-think-do’ framework to determine the flow of the campaign. Virginie Morobé, Belgian shoe designer, and her dog Tzuki kicked off the campaign with a press release. Further, GAIA used social media to bring awareness.
With €0 invested media budget, the campaign had a total reach of 5,532,324 people.
(Total population is 11 million people)
Total PR-value of 606.689,64 EUR ( press + influencers)
In a first phase, an e-mail was sent to influencers to participate. Thanks to Virginie Morobé, Belgian shoe designer, the campaign was an instant hit. Her appeal also inspired and activated other influencers to share GAIA’s message. Even influencers who had not been contacted participated in the campaign.
Using fashion influencers in an unconventional way got the attention of all the Belgian newspapers and magazines.
The not_an_accessory Instagram page had 11.868 profile visits