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  • Hope Miller

Types of Adoption Ads & Why They Work

What are the best ways animal welfare organizations can persuade people to rescue pets who need a home?

Here are some of our favorite adoption ads. They aren’t our favorites just because they're cute - they utilize some of the most compelling marketing techniques to appeal to future adopters.

"Barking Dawn" from Asheville Humane Society, NC

The goal of an advertisement is to create familiarity, charm and finding what “sticks” in someone’s head. This is also known as practicing ethos, a persuasion technique involving credibility and familiarity. This movie-like ad automatically registers in the viewer's head due to the familiarity of the popular Twilight series. We also love that the Asheville Humane Society called it a “pawmiere."

"Time & Money" Kansas Humane Society, Wichita, KS

Kansas Humane Society delivers a balanced and clean educational PSA ad that says what it means: how adoption can save time and money. The persuasion technique used here is logos, use of logic and fact.

Dealing with lots of information in an ad can be tricky. Here, the use of color and a table structure make the large amount of information easy to digest. Adding the diagram of the dog literally ties the data to the purpose (dog adoption) and creates an emotional connection to the data.

“I Like Big Mutts and I Cannot Lie”

Pet Helpers uses wit and nostalgia to create a connection with the audience. Advertisements like this are using a persuasion technique is called pathos, often employed through evoking a shared experience, nostalgia, and pulling at the heartstrings. A spin on well-known phrases and music lyrics automatically register with the viewer, piquing memory and garnering a smile.

“Kitties Gone Wild” ACCT Philly Animal Care

Galaxy kittens are clever and quirky. This “meme” inspired ad is modern, making it a perfect social post for appealing to a younger generation. Partnership of bright neon colors, funny cats, and clear information make this advertisement effective.

“Prancer, the demon Chihuahua of New Jersey” Second Chance Pet Adoption League

Honesty is important when it comes to advertisements because it builds brand credibility and sets expectations for customer experience. Honesty can also be used for humor. Meet Prancer, and his brutally honest adoption post. This post surprises the reader by highlighting the chihuahua's faults (he's overweight, picky, and spiteful), making it hard not to laugh. Honesty it is also what makes this advertisement for Second Chance Pet Adoption League so great. Because of his blunt, hilarious character, Prancer went viral and ultimately found a new home that was perfect for him and all of his needs!

“The Underdogs” Subaru Loves Pets Month

Everyone loves a good underdog story, and Subaru highlights this love in their 2020 campaign for Subaru Loves Pets Month. Inclusion of pets' back stories and celebrating trials they've overcome employs pathos to emotionally appeal to the consumer through uplifting, inspiring stories. When using pathos, it is important to be truthful while remaining positive.

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