Oakwood Agency Bristol


PDSA is the UK's largest pet charity but struggles for share of mind alongside larger ‘people focused’ charities. Our brief was to reverse this issue and make people engage with the charity not only in their heartland of 60+ year olds, but also to engage new audiences – generations X & Y.
Through research we discovered the audiences were numb to shock tactics, but were open to true stories which gave a positive outcome.
From this insight, we decided that a central plank to the campaign should be true stories that had a human-interest story running through them as well as an urgent and vital operation for a pet.
We created 3 concepts which we took back into research, with NOT EVERY STAR IS BURNING BRIGHT THIS CHRISTMAS coming out as a resounding winner in this concept we follow the story of Arthur and Candy and one traumatic incident which left Candy fighting for her life.
In our messaging, we also needed to tackle the issues that this charity helps people who simply can’t afford pet treatment plus as a charity there is a desperate need to raise funds to continue to fund hundreds of thousands of treatments each year. The overall goals were to generate revenue and increase brand awareness as well as driving audience acquisition.
• TV: We started our campaign with DRTV 60” and 30” spots. We chose DRTV as it was a great fit for one of our main audience segments.
• DM: Followed up the ad campaign with a series of Direct Mail outs (again to the same audience), these went out to warm and cold audiences and had variable content and gift values to not only give it personalisation but also to talk about the work carried out in their area and how their personalized suggested gift value could help. There were follow up packs and a Christmas Card to say Thank You.
• Radio: We created a 60" and 30” radio ad running across local and national stations mirroring the TV campaign.
• Out Of Home: We maximised our budget by running a limited OOH campaign with train car panels and London Underground campaign showcasing live cases of animals being treated.
• Guerrilla: For launch, we also went live with some guerrilla pieces aimed at our Gen Y audiences, we used ‘Clean graffiti’ across 5 cities asking for a text donation (something our research had shown was a preferred donation mechanic). We also did an awareness piece of building projections to kick the launch off.
• Social: We also ran the social channels for PDSA pushing content about true stories, fun engagements and facts about the charity engaging a new audience, using celebrity message endorsements to widen our reach to engage our new audiences
• EDM Campaign: We created a series of emailers, firstly teasing the TV campaign by piggy backing the peoples interest in seeing this year’s big brand Christmas TV ads, and then building engagement from soft asks and click-through (to deeper content) to hard asks and conversions to donations. Again, we personalised the experience across the eDM campaign, ending their journey on a personalized microsite.

Overall activity delivered 141% up on target and 179% up on the previous year
New audience acquisition came in with a potential value of £1m for future earnings
Brand awareness saw reach of more than 583m
We saw an uplift in engagement with our new target audience of Gen Y with a 147% uplift on facebook against target and 433% against previous year and twitter say a 410% uplift against target
EDM: The email campaigns saw a 10% open rate but with a 345% increase of donations against target
The halo effect saw a huge uplift in non-campaign products such as retail and other pet products (these are excluded from the figures above)

Date created: September 2016 2016-09-01T00:00:00+0100
Date published: 7 February 2017 2017-02-07T15:44:01+0000


Annual 2017 ShortlistPDSA Christmas AppealEffectiveness

PDSA Christmas Appeal