A majority of the cats that end up in the care of the SPCA are a result of owners neglecting, abusing, and eventually abandoning their cats. To create awareness for the SPCA cat-fostering program we decided to make transit shelter ads that use the design and layout of a typical lost cat poster. This use of inconsistent fonts and homemade layouts makes for a very surprising and unexpected thing to see in a paid media placement. These familiar posters make people feel compassion for the desperate pet owner. Leaving them wishing there was something they could do to help, and in this case they realize there is. Each ad features a real cat and information about their specific ailments from the SPCA database. By simply calling the number on the poster, people can provide that specific cat with a temporary home.
These frantically made and photocopied posters are a visual representation of someone who truly cares about their pet and wants nothing more than to have them back. People recognize this and have an instinctive gut reaction to not only look at them but also read the details. Although there usually isn’t anything they can do in that moment, it just feels like the right thing to do. This insight will allow us to get the attention of pet lovers and almost everyone who passes by it. The Nova Scotia SPCA is made possible primarily by volunteers and donations. This means a fairly limited media budget for these larger than life poster placements. As an extremely low-cost way to extend the reach of this campaign even further, we would print regular-sized versions of these posters to post on telephone poles and cork boards in the communities that they serve.