Tito's vodka marketing campaign exhibits the fact and necessity of transporting guard canine
The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a boom in dog adoption, and while it seems easy for most dogs to find a home, the process is not that straightforward for shelter dogs in the southern United States.
Natural disasters and mild castration practices have led to overcrowded emergency shelters and high euthanasia rates in the south. However, there are specific nonprofits dedicated to moving dogs to shelters with empty kennels in the northern United States – and Tito's handmade vodka is highlighting these groups with a new content and donation campaign.
The fifth generation brand launched Coming Home: Stories of Canine Transport, a series that documents how three nonprofits are saving dogs by getting them to places where they have better chances of finding permanent homes. The campaign will also include partnerships with numerous media platforms to raise funds for the featured volunteer groups.
Taylor Berry, Vice President of Marketing at Tito, told Adweek that the campaign, which expands the brand's ongoing animal rescue program Vodka for Dog People, aims to raise awareness of the realities of transporting guard dogs, an issue that is being addressed many dog lovers are unfamiliar.
"The impetus for the whole project was [to show] how we can put these dogs at risk, where they are wanted and have a better chance of being adopted," said Berry. "We are all very aware of how much content there is now, and we felt that the best way to tell these stories is by taking these transportation trips."
The brand partnered with production company Element to film the series in late 2019. Production teams and directors were employed to document transports made possible by Wings of Rescue, a transport company specializing in flying large shipments. Mission Miracle K9, which transports dogs in a vehicle from high killing shelters in Texas; and Pilots N Paws, which are run by volunteer pilots.
Berry said his team made a deliberate decision not to have a script for filming and to use minimal branding as the goal was to simply highlight what can often be emotional and stressful journeys for the volunteers and pets.
“Everything that happens on the screen is exactly what would happen on a particular transport. We wanted to show that rawness is a way for the consumer to really understand how immaterial this problem can be, ”he said. "We also wanted to launch the campaign around the hurricane and natural disaster season, when those transports are needed most, to ensure that it is on time and that we have the best chance of running a fundraiser for this program."
To kick off the fundraising element of the campaign, Tito teamed up with the WeRateDogs dog humor social platform to expand the Wings of Rescue film through his accounts and raise funds for nonprofits. The brand reports that the original donation goal of $ 20,000 was met in 45 minutes, which resulted in Tito increasing the corresponding number to $ 40,000, resulting in a total donation of $ 80,000 to nonprofits.
Berry said the brand plans to continue to raise funds for the other nonprofits by stepping up the campaign with digital purchases on The Dodo and BuzzFeed, as well as partnerships with Animal Planet and Discovery.
So far, Tito sees the campaign as a success based on the first hits and social engagement. On the WeRateDogs Twitter account, The Wings of Rescue received more than 595,000 views, more than 3,000 retweets and 20,000 likes.
Berry said consumer responses to the campaign will shed light on how Tito's craft campaign storytelling and how they determine future media partners.