Reigning Cats & Dogs: Battersea Are The Charity Ad Champs

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Wear Blue For Rescue


Charity and Not-For-Profit brands operate In a category where it’s all too easy to fall back on anger, fear and sadness as emotional motivators. But Battersea Dogs & Cats Home keep it positive, and have been rewarded by a string of 5-Star ratings from the viewing public. This ad, their latest in the “Wear Blue For Rescue” campaign, is a remarkable 9th Battersea spot to score 5-Stars on Test Your Ad.

Obviously, it helps them a lot that they can pick from a range of adorable rescue puppies and kittens to star in their ads. Even among pet charities, though, Battersea Dogs & Cats are a step above the rest. As the charity’s creative torch passes from FCB Inferno (who came up with “Wear Blue For Rescue”) to New Commercial Arts, it’s worth looking at the brand’s work and asking –  what does it do so well?

First, it keeps things positive with a consistent message. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has been all about rescue for several years now. It has a clear vision – support rescue dogs and people who adopt them – and a defined enemy – prejudice against rescue animals. That keeps the ads simple, consistent and powerful.

Second, Battersea have built the Rescue campaign across multiple phases to keep it effective. Battersea Dogs & Cats’ previous campaign, “Our Favourite Breed Is Rescue”, was astonishingly effective – the highest-scoring charity campaign we’ve ever seen. Why switch gears, if it was so good? “Wear Blue For Rescue” took the rescue idea offscreen too, encouraging pet adopters to wear blue and show appreciation of rescue animals, and creating a wider social campaign to go further than TV.

Third, Battersea are smart about their content. When they have an effective ad, they don’t pull it off the air once it’s run for a few months. They remix it, tweaking some elements and putting new emphasis on others to make the campaign feel fresh. That’s what they have done with this new “Wear Blue For Rescue” ad, a close but not identical relative of the original 2021 ad, with parts like the dog jumping across the swimming pool given more emphasis. The original was a 5.0-Star ad and this new version goes a little higher, at 5.2-Stars. Once again proving that Battersea Dogs And Cats Home are the charity sector’s MVP (Most Valuable Paws).

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