2019 Winners & Shortlists


Product/ServiceDOG ADOPTION
CategoryCharities & Non-profit


Situation Dubai is a disposable society. People are coming and going all the time. It creates an environment where people get rid of most of their things before they relocate. Unfortunately, that includes their pets. People just abandon them on the streets before leaving the country. Brief K9 Friends dog shelter was getting overwhelmed and could barely cope with the influx of abandoned dogs. It’s an issue that not many people in the country know about outside the charities. Abandoning your pet is not something you advertise. We needed to shed public light on this issue. Objectives They needed a campaign that tackled the issue of pet abandonment. We had to raise awareness and start a national conversation that led to real change.

Describe the creative idea.

We had to provoke a reaction and get abandoned dogs public attention. People use second-hand platforms to get rid of unwanted products before leaving the country. It was the perfect place to make our point. Our strategy was twofold. First, we provoked them by turning man's best friend into second-hand dogs. The ads were placed in every classified category among other abandoned second-hand objects. Once we had their attention and they opened the ad, we reveled our message: Dogs are not second-hand objects. They are invaluable companions.

Describe the strategy.

Dubai is made up of mostly expats. We needed to target western expats in specific, as they are the most vocal animal lovers. Most expats who come and go use the second-hand market to buy and sell stuff. They sell everything there from furniture to electronics. We used their love for man's best friend to shock them about the problem. When you're shopping for a used washing machine, the last thing you expect to see is an ad for a second-hand dog placed among them. It put the reality of their situation as abandoned dogs into a harsh perspective. It showed them ending up like an old second-hand object among the wasteland of unwanted products.

Describe the execution.

Ads for second-hand dogs were placed on Dubizzle, the largest second-hand platform in Dubai. We advertised them like products, in every category from furniture to electronics. We turned their heartbreaking stories into product descriptions. And we ended each ad with our message: Dogs are not second-hand objects. They are invaluable companions. Adopt at K9friends.com. The ads led to 24 dogs being adopted after being labeled as second-hand objects. That inspired influencers to volunteer and post stories trying to get more dogs adopted. With their help, 219 dogs were adopted in the past year. The abandoned dogs that no one noticed had become a national story published in 15 media outlets. The issue then caught the attention of the government. They made it illegal to abandon your pets in the UAE.

List the results.

28 Influencers with combined followers of 5.5 million helped to get the abandoned dogs adopted. 219 dogs were adopted over the past year. 15 publications covered the campaign, including 2 out of the 3 national daily publications. $500k earned media. But the best news by far, the government decided to take action. It is now illegal to abandon your pets in the UAE.


Name Company Role
Bechara Mouzannar Publicis Groupe Chief Creative Officer
Adil Khan Saatchi & Saatchi CEO
Komal Bedi Sohal Saatchi & Saatchi Chief Creative Officer
Samer Zouehid Saatchi & Saatchi Associate Creative Director
Luis Paulo Gatti Saatchi & Saatchi Associate Creative Director
Raja Rizkallah Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Director
Alan Hong Saatchi & Saatchi Senior Designer
Saria Francis MSL Group Social Communication Manager
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