The Dogs Trust is marking 35 years of its famous ‘A dog is for all times not only for Christmas’ slogan with a social media campaign geared toward getting people to think of the long-term commitment that incorporates buying a dog.
Speaking to Marketing Week, CEO Clarissa Baldwin, who came up with the slogan 35 years ago when she was the firm’s PR officer, said the strapline resonated as a result of its simple, direct message. However, it now needed updating to include a much wider message about getting people to consider the commitment needed, both within the short and long-term term, when buying a dog.
“People think we’re just talking about ’don’t buy a dog at Christmas’. Actually we’re saying ’don’t buy a dog for somebody who doesn’t know in the event that they desire a dog or not or can’t decide to guard it for its whole life’. It’s a message to get people concerned about what they’re doing,” she said.
She said the net has brought about new problems, with people ready to buy dogs impulsively without doing the research after which abandoning them after they can’t cope. Previously there have been no rules for websites that sell dogs, however Baldwin said DEFRA is operating with a number of animal charities to agree a collection of minimum standards.
These are actually being implemented and Dogs Trust might be showing ads on such sites laying out information on a way to buy and safeguard a tender dog.
“It’s the moment gratification culture that could be a problem. People need a dog they usually want it now and they go browsing, find person who looks sweet and purchase it. We need to communicate that purchasing a dog is a huge undertaking and responsibility and ensure we get our education messages across,” she added.
Dogs Trust can be working with brands and ad agencies to make certain they don’t repeat previous mistakes. Brands corresponding to Boots, John Lewis and Morrisons have come under fire for depicting what can be construed as animal cruelty of their ad campaigns.
Tesco is the latest brand to return in for criticism after publishing an image that gave the impression to promote getting a dog for Christmas in its gift guide. Baldwin called the supermarket’s marketing a “shocker” and said the Dog’s Trust is now in talks with Tesco to place its educational message into the supermarket’s magazine.