Animal shelters use ad-age marketing tactics!

This news comes from the Oreganian....

Humane Society wants to "End Petlessness," while others take to blogs
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The Oregonian

These local shelters go to market(ing).

Advertising tells us we need a host of products: sugary cereal, a premium brand of beer, a new dishwasher detergent.

And Oregon animal shelters are using it for another reason: to convince us we need to adopt pets.

Humorous blogs, pro-bono advertising, cable TV and outreach in high-traffic pet boutiques are being used to promote the joys of bringing home a dog, cat or other creature.

"Who knew marketing can save lives?" says Barbara Baugnon, the public relations/marketing director for the Oregon Humane Society.

The organization, with a combination of smart employees and elite advertising executives who donate time, sets the bar for everyone else.

Step one is changing the image of what an animal shelter is.

"There's a huge stigma that goes back decades against shelters. There are a lot old Walt Disney movies where the dog catcher is the most evil guy in the movie," says David Lytle, the organization's public affairs manager.

The Oregon Humane Society has flashing signs and flags in front of its light, airy, welcoming building. Many of the cats live in colony rooms decorated like rooms in a home, including one with a jukebox and a picture of Elvis on the wall. The organization is even bringing in interior designers who will give advice, free of charge, about color schemes in the dog runs to help make black and brown dogs "pop" to the eye.

An upbeat message

The humane society's goal is to turn thinking about homeless pets from something sad and overwhelming to something uplifting, even fun.