Case Study: Stray dogs starring in a Romanian campaign that went around the globe

Ads, Advertising, Case Studies, CSR

The Project: Stray dogs cross the street

Client: Romanian Traffic Police

Agency: Next Advertising

Campaign: “Chose life” communication platform

Period: December 2012 – March 2013

Channels: TV, online, outdoor

Context: 

As Traffic Police statistics show, the main cause of accidents in urban areas and 2nd cause at national level is the fact that passers or bike owners are crossing the street through forbidden places.

Romanian Traffic Police made previously a series of campaigns targeting drivers: some meant to curb the speed driving, some to make drivers aware of dangers of driving under influence. Therefore, it was needed also a campaign to target people that walk on foot and make them aware of the risk they expose themselves to when the don’t respect the rules and cross the street illegally.

Looking around, one can see that stray dogs give people an important life lesson: its adapted to the life in the city and learned the techniques that insure their survival: pass through marked places, waiting for the lights to turn green. That is why dogs were chosen as a model of responsible conduit in traffic and used in a campaign targeting people that walk on foot.

Objectives:

  • Making aware and warn all people that walk on foot on the risks they expose themselves by not respecting traffic rules, that are mandatory for them also, not only for drivers.
  • Decreasing the number of victims of accidents in urban areas (where their number caused by people walking on foot is very high)

Target:

  • On age grounds: children, youth and adolescents, adults and old people
  • In terms of occupation: pupils, students, employees and freelancers, bloggers, online & offline press, animal protection associations, people interested by funny and smart videos that access video sharing websites

Strategy:

To communicate an educative message that would capture public’s attention, the agency used real images and characters. The scenes were filmed exactly as they were watched or captured with mobile phones. The dogs didn’t had any problems with it and so it resulted one of the nicest campaigns launched lately by Romanian Traffic Police, a campaign that echoed everywhere in the world. “Dogs’ ad was made pro bono by Next Advertising, and the message “If they can, everybody does. Cross the street on marked places” was translated in over 20 languages.

Implementation:

The agency aimed to communicate ad’s message to the public that’s present both online and offline, reason why the focus went on the following communication channels::

  • TV: the ad was broadcasted in regime of social campaign;
  • Online: video sharing websites and social networks (Facebook, Twitter) were targeted, along with blogs, online media, forums, animal protection associations
  • Outdoor – LCD monitors in Bucharest buses;
  • Press releases targeting printed press, online press and press agencies

Online communication and PR

On December 15th, the ad started to broadcast on the main TV stations in Romania: Antena 1, Antena 2, Antena 3, CBS Reality, Diva Universal, Dolce Sport, Euforia, GSP TV, Kanal D, Music Channel, OTV, Prima TV, Realitatea TV, Romania TV and Sport 1. In the same time, the ad was posted on YouTube where, in just 2 weeks, without any effort to promote it, it had over 2,000 views.

In the start of January, a press release was sent to national and local media and bloggers, with it including info about the campaign. Shortly after, AFP, international news agency with news feeds in 6 languages and video, photo and graphic feeds, published a news that was taken over and generated subjects on websites all over the world.

On January 17th, the ad started to be broadcasted on LCD monitors in RATB buses

Follow-up:

The media coverage of the campaign surpassed any expectations. In Romania, the ad got viral fast, gathering tens of thousands shares and likes. Abroad, the campaign was heard of on 5 continents, with people of all nationalities appreciating the creative idea. All without media buying.

Results:

TV

  • “Dog” ad was broadcasted 721 times on 15 national TVs starting December 15th 2012.
  • After sending the press release towards mass media, 5 TVs made video materials: Pro TV, Antena 3 and Romania TV (national) and  Alba TV and Tele M (local).
  • 67.4% of Romania’s population saw at least once the ad on TV (12,82M people).
  • 69.8% people over 18 in Romania saw the ad at least once on TV (11,3M people).
  • More international TVs and radios broadcasted news on the Romanian dogs campaign, among them: BBC China and Arab radio

Online

  • over 360 articles in local and international online press

Sites & Blogs:

  • 100  Romanian websites covered the campaign
  • over 250 international websites among which arabnews.com, france24.com, news24.com, lastampa.it, uknewsyahoo.com, ethnosnews.com, greek24.com, ilmondo.it;
  • most news on the dog campaign were published in Iran, Japan, Brasil, China, Italy, Venezuela and Spain
  • hundreds of comments to articles and to the video ad

Video Sharing websites:

  • presence on video sharing websites (where the ad was also posted by users): youtube.com, myvideo.ro, 220.ro and others
  • only on YouTube, the ad has now over 67,143 views and continues to grow constantly
  • increased rate of engagement
  • over 115,000 views online

Social media

  • many shares and likes on Facebook, also on pages such as Animal Planet Romania, Vier Pfoten Romania, Antena 3, Radio3Net, IQ Ads, and also foreign Facebook pages belonging to different online publications and bloggers
  • many tweets and re-tweets including AFP Germany and BBC China

RATB

  • Starting January 17th, the add was broadcasted on LCD screens in Bucharest buses. The LCD monitors network in Bucharest includes 500 buses, 500 LCD screens and 120 transport routes. LCD broadcasting insured half million views a day, with a daily audience of 1,014 / bus, 507.000 / fleet.
  • 1.45 Bucharest inhabitants aged 14-64 y.o are travelling by bus / trolleybus or tram; from them, 23.6% do that on daily basis (343.000), 13.4%  – 3-5 times per week (195.050 people), 12.3% – 1-2 times per week (178,000 people), 49.3% – at least once a week  (717.000)

Highlights

Besides the quantifiable and measurable results of the campaign, the conclusions agency made are as important to understand the success campaign had to public all over the world.

People’s reactions towards the campaign were mainly supportive. The comments on websites are confirming an indisputable truth, that reflects on the insight that the ad is based on: dogs can adapt to living in towns sometimes better than humans, showing discipline in respecting the rules that insure their survival. Oppositely, humans, although they know these rules, are breaking them knowingly, risking their lives.

Although developed locally, with no financial resources, campaign’s insight is an international one, that can be applied to more cultures and countries. The ad got popular first in Romania, than around the world, generating positive results.

Credits:

The team involved in making “Dogs” includes:

  • Next Advertising: Semida Duriga (strategy, copy, client service),  Liviu David (art, director, DOP & editor Next, creative director), Floriana Scanteie (CSR communication & PR specialist), Ruxi Muntean (Media Director), Oana Radu (Media Manager)
  • Reload Film: Sebastian Tudor (producer), Traian Ardac (executive producer),  Vlad Cioban and Diana Ursu (cam and production), Oana Rapeanu (postproduction manager) and Andi Dumitrescu (editor Reload)
  • Romanian Traffic Police: Lucian Dinita,  Costin Tatuc and Luminiţa Elena Ion
  • Also involved in the campaign were Constantin Stroescu, Amalia Constantinescu, Simona Stoica, Bogdan Chiriac

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