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RSPCA: Taking the documentary approach

With RCPCA’s ad, the first person voiceover is powerful and creates a documentary feel to the advert, which is compelling. Strong words are used early on to get a reaction from animal lovers, such as ‘upset, neglect, abuse, urgent.’

The scale of the problem, ‘120,000 animals rescued every year’, is used to shock viewers and remind them of the magnitude of the animal cruelty problem, prior to the ask.

At the 30 second mark, the first call to action (CTA) is introduced; the holy trinity of Phone, Text and Web, with a low on screen ask amount of £2. These return paths remain on screen for the remainder of the ad, which is a great way to ensure that people who want to respond can do so.

This CTA is voiced once more before the end of the ad, following the immediacy close, which tells people that: “Right now, there are thousands of animals experiencing pain and suffering and we need your help to rescue them.” The idea they portray – that whilst the viewer is watching their TV and having a cuppa, many animals are in peril – is a very strong motivator.

The budget deployment looks smart from a saleshouse point of view, with Sky taking circa 50% each month, although this was reduced from August to November 2015 in a test, which looks to have been unsuccessful. ITV2 and other female lifestyle stations take up a considerable amount of the schedule, and rightfully so.

RSPCA clearly take response seriously, with a considerable amount of unique phone numbers – almost 80 different creative iterations used over the last 12 months. Whether the cost of production and delivery of these are justified when an increasing amount of donations are being given online is arguable.