Every year more than 1,000 pets are abandoned on the streets of Barcelona. To draw attention to the growing problem, the City Council has organised for concrete dog statues to be installed around the city streets and public places.
Dog statues challenge pet abandonment
Ada Colau, mayor of the Catalan capital, appealed to PR agency Ogilvy to help in the fight against the increasing number of pets left abandoned in the streets of Barcelona.
The idea: to tether life-size concrete statues of dogs to various street posts throughout the city.
While artistic in concept, the idea is to raise awareness of the issue and challenge passersby to consider their moral values and obligations to society; to encourage one another to be responsible when adopting an animal and to increase adoption of existing pets looking for new homes.
Each statue is attached to a bench, street post or tree and includes a QR code. When scanned with a smartphone, the QR code provides information about dogs in need of homes, including identity, history and the reason for its abandonment.
Via the QR code, people can also learn about the City Council's animal shelter, the Association of Companion Animals of Barcelona (CAACB). The CAACB takes in abandoned pets and are provided with shelter and veterinary care until they are adopted out to new homes.
CAACB dogs Neula, a 4-year-old mixed-breed, and Samó, a 5-year-old American Staffordshire, were used as models to create the statues.
"Neula and Samsó represent all the dogs that have been waiting for a second chance," said Jofre Banquells, creative director of Ogilvy Barcelona.
"They both waited for at least a year at Barcelona’s animal shelter. Fortunately, Neula has been [sic] quickly adopted as soon as the campaign launched."
Emotive campaign to encourage adoption
According to the campaign, 760 dogs were abandoned in Barcelona in 2017, a 13% increase on 2016 figures. While a growing problem for the city for some years, the significant jump was the catalyst for taking action.
The emotive campaign marks a step in a different direction to traditional public awareness campaigns that use traditional out-of-home / outdoor (OOH) advertising medias such as billboards, bus-stop advertising and posters. As a result, the tangible and interactive approach helps to reach passersby on an emotional level and encourage a new way of responding to the issue - ideally through adoption.
We're looking forward to seeing the results of the campaign and next year's figures!
Photo credit: Ogilvy Barcelona