CampaignCampaign(opens in a new tab)
Case Film
Presentation Image




Why is this work relevant for Media?

This innovative campaign leveraged media to optimal effect, thanks to data feeds which pinpointed swings in mood across the capital.

Automation meant that the approach was highly efficient, too, while the sense of playfulness matched the brand’s tonality, with resounding success.

The campaign involved identifying triggers and adapting campaign assets in real time, with content surfacing to match particular moments.

The budget was small, but by harnessing data from media owners and channels including Facebook, Twitter, Google and TfL we were able to ensure the impact was anything but. In addition, social listening helped honed the optimisation across media channels.


Despite the popularity of watching cute animals online, the reality is that more pets than ever need a home. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is a small animal charity based in London. In 2017 they rehomed 8% fewer dogs and 16% fewer cats than the previous year.

We needed to reverse this.

Targeting started with Londoners, as it’s important to rehome pets with little disruption. However, Londoners work 100 hours a year more than the rest of the UK and a third claim they’re too busy to even sleep. Conversely, we saw this as an advantage.

This busy lifestyle means Londoners are also more anxious than the rest of the UK, and research shows regular interactions with animals can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin.

Targeting this audience at their most grumpy with animal-based relief should convince them of the transformative power of pets and nudge them into action.

Describe the creative idea/insights

We needed to identify when Londoners were at their grumpiest, so we turned to social media.

We saw routine events such as the Sunday evening comedown, the run up to payday as well as more reactive ones including sudden change in weather, bad sporting results or even the death of a TV character altered mood.

With the knowledge of what drove moments of grumpiness, we set about building a tool that could react and reverse this.

Using social listening platform, Netbase, we built keyword, sentiment and emoji bundles segmenting patterns of mood over time. We then fused data from Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, behavioural economic experiments, travel data and media brands to measure, predict and respond to the mood of the capital.

Finally, the tool needed to be dynamic to allow us to adapt campaign phasing, optimisation of budgets and serve reactive content in real-time.

The Grump-o-Meter was born.

Describe the strategy

Through the Grump-o-Meter we were able to isolate the triggers that made our audience grumpy and use our animals to boost their mood when they needed it, showing the restorative effect of animals and ultimately associating Battersea Dogs and Cats with joy.

Using live data feeds, we pinpointed with accuracy the exact traffic levels, sunshine levels and humidity points, amongst other factors, that that drove significant swings in mood and, as people’s moods tipped, our automated campaign kicked in.

Our strategy acted as an agile, automated platform that switched on at the most relevant and precise moment. We turned conventional wisdom on its head and used it to identify when our audience needed to be cheered, entertained, or distracted –rather than advertising to people at their most receptive we were advertising to them when they were at their most grumpy.

Describe the execution

Bespoke content surfaced when London reached certain thresholds of ‘grump’, informing phasing, weighting and budget optimisations.

We created significant up weights across OOH, social and TV to coincide with the grumpiest days of week and times of day.

We identified triggers and adapted core campaign assets, matching snippets of TV and film assets, for instance, to particular moments.

We created automated social campaigns surfacing tailored content when thresholds of grump were surpassed. For example, we saw a spike in velocity of rainy emoji mentions when humidity crept above 70%, as people’s moods tipped our activity kicked in.

The Grump-o-Meter helped us discover nuances and triggers that made our launch more impactful and effective. It allowed us to celebrate the distinctive joyfulness of the brand, while also convincing people of the joy of pets.

List the results

Despite a tiny budget of £146,000 The Grump-o-meter led to hundreds of animals finding new homes. A third of our audiences recalled the campaign with spontaneous, prompted and advertising awareness not only significantly up, but beating benchmarks according to Future Thinking Analysis.

What’s more the costs of re-homing were found to be 55% lower than all previous records, while overall registrations were up a massive 319% year on year.

During the campaign alone, over 450 animals were rehomed, which meant we had successfully stemmed the double-digit decline in rehomings. And with registrations up so significantly, we hopefully achieved the impossible too: cheer up famously grumpy Londoners.

More Entries from Excellence in Media Insights & Strategy in Media

24 items

Grand Prix

Social Behaviour & Cultural Insight



(opens in a new tab)


24 items

Grand Prix

Commercial Public Services incl. Healthcare & Medical



(opens in a new tab)