Pets Are People, Too
“In looking at our logo, we realized that the ‘P’ was our active word,” Sullivan explained in April. “We’re there for prevention — prevention of cruelty, prevention of accidents.
“We are a brand out there in animal welfare that right now no one else can follow,” she adds. “We stopped using paws and hearts, and I’m sure everyone will eventually follow us. But for now, you don’t confuse us with your small local shelter or The Humane Society,” she explained. “The ASPCA has a look and feel that allows it to completely stand alone.”
Sullivan also said that the ASPCA is “testing out of” the use of photos of suffering animals in direct mail, though those heart-breaking images still seem to work in television efforts.
Match your mission
As a group, Catena says, animal-welfare donors respond well to photos and, where applicable, whimsical copy. The ASPCA’s new “We Are Their Voice” campaign, with its images of seemingly happy animals holding speech bubbles, bears that out.
But cute isn’t always the way to go. As with any cause, the messaging has to match the mission.
“An appeal that focuses on an advocacy organization’s efforts to combat animal cruelty by promoting tougher laws against abusers could use ‘hard core’ images,” Catena explains. “‘Cute-and-fuzzy’ photos, on the other hand, would be best in an appeal for an animal shelter that leads with the story of a dog or cat placed in a loving home.”
Generally speaking, animal donors fit the typical direct-mail donor profile — older and female (as opposed to wildlife-protection donors, who are younger with the split between women and men less skewed toward women). Their main concerns? Pet overpopulation and animal abuse. To reach them, the obvious lists would come from other like-minded organizations. Indeed, ASPCA leans heavily on lists from The Humane Society of the United States, the North Shore Animal League and PETA, among others. But other lists can work just as well, according to Catena.