RSPCA rebrands for the next 200 years with new campaign by JKR

RSPCA-lede

For more than two centuries, the RSPCA has been pushing boundaries and raising standards to help animals live fairer and better lives.

Now, in a pivotal moment, the charity has introduced a new strategy designed to respond to the growing challenges faced worldwide and inspire a million acts of kindness for animals.

RSPCA and the next 200 years

To define its next 200 years, the organisation has partnered with global branding agency Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) to reveal a new purpose, positioning and branding.

The charity has also tasked creative agency AMV BBDO to bring its new strategy to life through a powerful and empathetic brand platform.

JAA delivered the media strategy and buying, which includes TV, Cinema, OOH and Digital; a launch partnership with Channel 4, Studio Lambert and Gogglebox will kick off the campaign.

“In the 200 years since we were founded, we’ve changed attitudes, behaviours and laws towards animals and, as a society, we have revolutionised the way we think, feel and act towards them”, said says Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive, RSPCA.

“But between intensive farming, climate change and urbanisation, and the ongoing cost of living crisis, animals are now facing some of the biggest challenges ever.

“As an organisation, we have a critical role to play, but we can’t do it alone. We need as many people as possible to join us to help create a better world for all animals.

“Because a world that’s better for animals is a better world for us all. To do that, we needed to relook at ourselves as a brand and align our purpose, positioning and identity to achieve our goals”.

The process involved working with stakeholders, representatives from RSPCA’s 140 local branches, and services, including rescue operations, policy and advocacy and scientific research.

“In order to authentically represent all those impacted by the RSPCA, it was crucial that everyone connected to the organisation felt valued and heard as we built this out”, Sherwood said.

New purpose and brand experience

JKR’s immersion in the RSPCA went beyond standard research processes. The team travelled to various locations across the UK, such as its animal centres, hospitals, branches and its national call centre, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the organisation and its breadth of work in animal welfare.

They attended internal leadership conferences and business organisational meetings, participated in on-the-ground immersion days at RSPCA Assured Farms and Animal Centres, went out on the road with animal rescue officers, visited local RSPCA shops, and took part in immersive workshops.

Off the back of this, a new purpose was crafted to inspire people to support the RSPCA and the animal welfare cause: “Inspire everyone to create a better world for every animal.”

This purpose was then tested using the Loops technology platform, gathering feedback from thousands of individuals both within and outside the organisation.

This ensured that the purpose truly reflected the RSPCA’s values and would resonate with supporters, internal teams and the wider public.

With a new purpose in place, the next step was to align it with the brand identity and experience to drive a shift in perception. This encompassed every aspect of brand interaction, from physical, digital, and tonal elements.

The 200-year-old brand enjoyed a remarkable 96% awareness but needed to evolve to be able to tackle the new challenges: “Evolving the RSPCA purpose and brand was a strategic business imperative given the organisation’s essential work amidst current global challenges,” said Sean Thomas, Executive Creative Director at JKR.

“We worked collaboratively with stakeholders and representatives to unlock how the brand needed to adapt in order to meet its ambition of inspiring everyone, whoever they are, to get involved, so that together, we can help make a difference to animals’ lives.”

Sherwood added: “Our brand hasn’t been updated since the 1970s and it has been holding us back in becoming the modern, forward-facing RSPCA we want to be.

“We need people to reappraise us and rethink our place in the world if we are going to face up to the huge challenges facing animals.

“Our bolder, brighter, welcoming brand aims to inspire everyone, whoever they are, to get involved so that together we can help animals now and for many years to come”

The new strategic positioning and brand identity have been built to help drive awareness, broaden understanding and shift perceptions. With a focus on garnering more support, this initiative aims to fulfil the organisation’s ultimate purpose of inspiring everyone to create a better world for every animal.

For every kind

The rebrand campaign “For Every Kind”, developed with AMV BBDO, was created to be more than just a brand platform or an end line. It’s a rallying cry to invite every kind of person to be kind in every possible way to every kind of animal.

The magnitude of the crisis for animal welfare is such that we need everyone, not just the traditional animal advocates, to join in and help the RSPCA.

With For Every Kind, the charity wants to help nudge each and every one up the scale of animal welfare, one kind action at a time.

Central to this campaign is the 2-minute film (above), which portrays a wide and wild range of animals, from battery chickens to abandoned kittens, from lobsters about to be served at a restaurant to dogs left in hot cars, all singing along the iconic Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” track, asking for just “a little respect”.

Featuring the voices of RSPCA’s celebrity ambassadors actor Brian Blessed, Wildlife TV Presenter and Conservationist Chris Packham, champion ballroom dancer and TV judge Shirley Ballas, JLS singer and TV presenter JB Gill and Staying Relevant podcast co-host Pete Wicks, the ad encapsulates a vision for animals that’s more needed than ever.

Directed by Raine Allen-Miller through Somesuch, the ad goes from dark situations of neglect and cruelty to an epic celebration of animals living rich emotional lives once people start treating them with kindness and respect.

The acts of kindness range from giving chicken and cows more space to have “the zoomies” to picking up a snail from a busy road; from comforting a kitten to donating to RSPCA.

RSPCA AD of Marketing and Communications, Olivia Reid, said: “We want people to rethink their relationship with all animals. As a nation, we love our cats and dogs, but we are also connected to billions of other animals in our lives, through the things we buy and the choices we make.

“We often don’t realise that we are unintentionally funding, fuelling or furthering suffering. From intensive farming taking place behind closed doors, use of some animals in sport and entertainment, extreme breeding, and the ‘cute’ images we share on social media, society regularly turns a blind eye to how we treat our fellow creatures.

“So, we are shining a light on the joy of animals living their best lives, happy and fulfilled, and full of emotions and experiences. We want everyone to realise every animal deserves our kindness and respect.”

AMV BBDO Creative Directors Jack Smedley and George Hackforth-Jones, said: “The breadth and scale of the animal welfare crisis is so great it can almost feel overwhelming.

“Given the complex and varied relationships we all have with animals it was important to create something that didn’t just shock or scare people but offered a sense of hope and left you feeling inspired.

“R.E.S.P.E.C.T. almost felt like putting together an animal national anthem and we hope it starts conversations in households around the UK to get us all thinking about how we can be kinder to animals, whether that’s changing what we eat or just rescuing a garden snail, though we can’t guarantee they’ll all thank you by singing Aretha Franklin”.

JAA ensured the campaign delivered the reach it deserves with versions of 60 and 30 seconds of the film running on TV and cinema and a series of 15, 10 and 6 seconds will be live on digital and social media.

Radio spots are also part of the media plan and will start later in the year. Amplifying the campaign further is an innovative collaboration between Channel 4, JAA plus Gogglebox and its production partner Studio Lambert.

Enabling the campaign to be a topic of discussion for families nationwide, during the first ad break in Gogglebox on Friday 12 April, a special 2-minute ad created by Studio Lambert for C4 Sales will launch featuring stars of the show with their pets reviewing and reacting to the new brand ad.

The Gogglebox spot runs until Friday 9 May. 

Cameron Cumming, Director of Performance at JAA, said: “Choosing to launch the campaign with Channel 4 and Gogglebox was an easy choice. The partnership perfectly allows the campaign to embody ‘For Every Kind’.”

Mihir Haria-Shah, Customer & Commercial Leader, Channel 4 Sales, said: “We’re pleased, working with JAA, to build a shared viewing experience for the RSPCA, enabling it to connect with animal-loving communities.

“Gogglebox is the ideal programme for the RSPCA to run its campaign in a moment where families and pets gather across the country.”

The new brand platform is also being launched with impactful OOH across England and Wales, featuring a completely refreshed design system for the charity.

The billboards land the message “For Every Kind” by showcasing a breadth of animals, all the surprising emotions they feel and our connection with them.

Targeted social executions are also being rolled out to describe the specific acts of kindness people can perform for animals, big or small. And an interactive web tool on the RSPCA website has been designed to help everyone find their kind of kindness.