AMI Awards Stories: RSPCA #adoptabull

RSPCA Queensland (RSPCA QLD) partnered with Liquid Interactive to create a social media campaign that changed the way people perceive rescue bull-type dog breeds, while debunking the myths surrounding these dogs and encouraging positive conversation about the breeds.  

RSPCA and Liquid Interactive, the makers of the #Adoptabull campaign and 2018 AMI Social Media and Digital Marketing Award Winner, creatively changed perceptions on bulldogs with one highly-effective social media campaign.


Does you have a successful social media story? Enter the AMI Awards for Marketing Excellence to be in the running for the 2019 Social Media and Digital Marketing Award.

Nominations close Tuesday, 30th of April 2019


RSPCA Queensland (RSPCA QLD) is the leading animal welfare charity in Queensland (QLD), currently rehoming more animals than any other organisation in the southern hemisphere. As the state’s oldest and largest charity, RSPCA QLD is dedicated to improving the lives of all domestic, farmed and native animals.

The Issue 

Bull-type dog breeds, such as Bull Arabs, Bull Mastiffs, Bull Terriers and various other crosses make up the majority of rescue dogs in QLD. People perceive them to be aggressive, hard-to train and not suitable for families with young children.

The rampant and damaging stereotypes like these are what discourage people from adopting these loving dogs, and makes it so much harder for them to find their ‘furever’ homes.

These false beliefs have left RSPCA QLD with an overflow of rescue bull-type breeds. They’re labelled ‘damaged’ goods, through no fault of their own, and are stuck indefinitely in shelters.

The Solution

In order to change people’s perceptions, the team at RSPCA needed a creative execution that captured people’s attention with the #adorabull aspects of the dogs, but kept the spotlight firmly on education. They did not want people laughing at another funny dog video; they needed to change their perception towards rescue bull-type breeds.

The answer? A social media campaign focusing on changing the stereotypes of bulls.

In preparing for this campaign, RSPCA met several of the pups in question at a QLD shelter. From the moment they saw the bulldogs, it was difficult to understand how anyone could view the dogs negatively. There was no aggression, savageness or rough behavior, just licking.

Fast forward to film day, and that’s exactly what they did.

Using peanut butter on Perspex to write 3 negative words that are often associated with rescue bull-type breeds. RSPCA “unleashed” several very happy pooches to do their “worst”, and captured the whole thing.

The 3 peanut butter videos we created were posted on the RSPCA QLD Facebook page and promoted to 3 key audiences:

  1. Dog lovers audience
  2. Lookalike page connections
  3. Lookalike audience based on previous adopter emails

It was one thing for the audience to hear dispelling myths around bull-breeds, it also needed to be heard from the happy owners themselves. Everyone loves to tell a cute story about their pooch and this campaign provided an opportunity for owners of #adoptabull breeds to share their story.

To drive this message home with their audiences, RSPCA followed up with a more in-depth and education focused touch point. To do so, they created a re-marketing list based on people who had watched the promoted posts, serving a canvas ad that expanded on the points made in each video. The sophisticated targeting metrics through custom and lookalike audiences also meant that advertising spend was directed at a highly targeted audience – allowing organic reach to do the rest of the work.

The Results

Overall #Adoptabull was a huge success – so much so that Facebook wrote a case study on the campaign.

Over the course of 14 days, and with a limited media budget of $3,080, they reached over 1.2 million people with the campaign message – that’s an average of 81,477 per day! That level of awareness wouldn’t have been possible without a highly engaged and supportive community who wanted to share and amplify the message; of the 1.2m reached, 49.37% was organic.

Over the course of the campaign, RSPCA received:

  • 17,129 reactions
  • 264,727 video views

Although education was the primary goal of the campaign, there was also a 44% increase in the number of bull-type adoptions compared to the previous year and a 24% increase in adoptions in the month following the end of the campaign. As the leading adoption welfare charity in the southern hemisphere, this was a spectacular result for RSPCA Queensland.

The Key Outcomes that contributed value to the organization

As a result of the campaign, RSPCA received an enormous amount of user generated content, in the form of positive stories from bull-type dog owners. These stories gave the audience real tangible insights into the loving personalities of rescue bull-type breeds.

“I am one of those reformed people who used to think the Bull breed was scary… until I adopted this gorgeous, placid boy. So gentle and cuddly.”

“I was concerned in adopting a Bull breed 10 years ago. I won’t say he’s the perfect dog but he is absolutely brilliant with puppies, kittens, cats and adult dogs he is introduced to. We love him to death.”

People also tended to mimic the campaign language, using hashtags and post copy to support their opinion:

“My boy is predominately Staffy and he is the sweetest. Loves other dogs, kids, doesn’t bark or dig and is a super happy boy #adoptabull. Anyone thinking of adopting, DO IT!!”

“I have a Staffy. She dogs, barks and plays rough, but she’s also incredibly loyal and loving. If you’re not committed to dealing with common characteristics of most dogs then don’t get one.”

Does you have a successful social media story? Enter the AMI Awards for Marketing Excellence to be in the running for the 2019 Social Media and Digital Marketing Award.

Nominations close Tuesday, 30th of April 2019





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