The real social problem of abandoning dogs by the roads was transferred to the virtual world. We reached for the popular Minecraft game and used the potential of YouTube and storytelling in the video form. Addressing the sensitivity of young people, on a prefigurative basis, the campaign reached adults as well.
In the beginning, there was… a dog. Unwanted, thrown from a car or tied to a tree on the side of the road. This is a problem which, in the context of motorways, takes on a particularly dramatic dimension. An animal thrown from a car on an expressway stands little chance of survival. How to make children, young people and, through them, adults, more sensitive to its fate? How to shape responsible attitudes towards animals? How to design a campaign which would visually and engagingly address the issue of taking responsibility for the lives of the four-footed and which would explicitly ask why animals end up on the roads?
Since it is young people who respond most strongly to animals and their fate, we assumed that their involvement would maximise the chances of getting the campaign message across. The selection of the target group led to the choice of the main tool – the popular Minecraft game, which, at the time the campaign was designed, in December 2017, was played by over 70 million people worldwide. Minecraft enables the creation of any kind of reality and narrative situation using animated characters.
The campaign centred around a competition for the best stories created in Minecraft, which addressed the problem of abandoning dogs by the roads. We invited players, whose YT channels have about one million subscribers each, to join us. Three of the most subscribed players – MagdalenaMariaMonika, RoxMb and Vertez, became ambassadors of the campaign.
Communication carried out using the profiles of the campaign ambassadors was complemented by media relations and social media activities in addition to the website created in Minecraft style.
The logo of the campaign Gaming for [a dog’s life] was designed in such a way as to reflect the idea of the campaign in a graphic way, addressing the target group. In the name of the campaign the Polish words “psie życie” (“a dog’s life”), were deliberately written together to bring them phonetically closer to the word “przeżycie” (“survival”). The logo referred to the hearts symbolising the “life” we have at our disposal when playing a computer game. Emotions, which are associated with having a dog and being responsible for it, played here a significant role.
The final of the campaign took the form of a grand cinema premiere attended by over 120 people. The best films were presented during the gala.
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