True Media Canada took home bronze at the 2023 Media Innovation Awards for “Best in OOH Platforms – Budget Under $100,000” for their Take Me Home Tonight campaign, in collaboration with Pet Valu and Pattison Outdoor.
What Made The Campaign Innovative?
During the pandemic, there was a significant surge in people adopting new pets for their homes, and for 31% of people adopting, it marked the first time they had ever owned a pet.
However, as the lockdown measures eased in Toronto and people returned to their workplaces, owning a pet became more challenging. Consequently, animal shelters experienced a distressing increase in the number of surrendered pets. Sadly, according to Toronto Animal Services, there was a 63% increase in the number of pets landing in shelters in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
With Pet Valu’s extensive history of connecting devoted pet lovers with animals searching for their forever homes, they seized the opportunity to launch what they called “Take Me Home Tonight”.
This initiative targeted people during moments when they found themselves in less social environments, highlighting how only a pet could transform a cold and unfriendly space into a warm and inviting one.
By leveraging these moments, Pet Valu aimed to encourage potential adopters to consider giving a home to a deserving pet in need.
One of the most unfriendly, less social, and cold places in Toronto is undoubtedly the TTC subway platform, especially when enroute home.
With riders outpacing advertisers returning to the TTC, there was a distinct opportunity for PetValu to rise above the noise of a crowded advertising ecosystem and claim ownership of the train station.
The campaign utilized every potential wall to emphasize how having a pet can remarkably transform any situation, making it more friendly and bringing a smile to your face. Riders were introduced to Clair the Guinea Pig, George the Dog, and Ozzy the Cat among other adoptable pets, all with names inspired by subway stops.
With an incredible partner and a client dedicated to creating forever homes for pets, the only obstacle now is figuring out how to replicate and scale this success in the future.
Transforming the Spadina subway into a distinctive animal shelter display involved the creative use of personalized decals with pet names, highlighting the various benefits of adding a furry family member to your home. The cleverly designed decals gave the impression that the animals were sitting right next to you on a bench or at your feet, even when using your phone. Whereas wall posters and column wraps are tried-and-true media tactics, by designing cutouts of the pets, they were able to seamlessly integrate them into the platform, less as signage and more as, well, live pets.
At every turn, commuters encountered a pet name and a fun fact or benefit associated with adopting a pet. This approach helped people truly internalize the advantages of welcoming a new family member into their home. By making these heartwarming connections, the campaign successfully encouraged potential adopters to consider the joy and companionship that a pet can bring to their lives.
The only metric the client had was to help find forever homes for these pets. Over 91 families introduced a new member to their household.
Not only did dog and cat adoptions increase, but the less popular domestic animal category including guinea pigs, rabbits, and birds doubled. There were 2.5+ million impressions in the Spadina station, 7.2+ million impressions from earned media (with coverage from over 17 major local news outlets) and 91+ pets adopted.