The New Zealand arm of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has worked with Draftfcb and its client MINI New Zealand for an unusual campaign to help promote dog adoptions.
Three shelter dogs, Monty, Ginny and Porter, are being taught how to drive, yes that’s right drive.
The dogs are being taught how to successfully brake, shift gears, turn the steering wheel and accelerate up to speeds of 10km in a specially modified MINI Countryman Cooper S.
“Driving a car actively demonstrates to potential rescue dog adopters that you can teach an old dog new tricks. The dogs have achieved amazing things in eight short weeks of training, which really shows with the right environment just how much potential all dogs from the SPCA have as family pets,” says Christine Kalin, SPCA Auckland CEO.
The dogs have been taking driving lesson in a training station, and will soon graduate to driving their own MINI.
On Monday 10 December Porter, a 10 month old Beardie Cross from SPCA Auckland, will be the first to make the ambitious attempt to drive a car, live on New Zealand television. A trainer will, however, be close by ready to trigger an automatic “off” button should the situation warrant it.
Commenting on the training, Mark Vette said, “You wouldn’t believe any dog could learn to drive a car on its own and the way all three SPCA rescue dogs have taken to training really does prove that intelligent creatures adapt to the situation they’re in. It really is remarkable.”
The campaign will run across New Zealand featuring on major TV and radio networks, magazines, newspapers, websites, and billboards in major cities, as well as social media support.
“Ultimately the aim is that an SPCA rescue dog will become top of mind and top choice for people thinking of adopting a pet,” says Kalin.