Online shoe outlet Zappos knew from research that 23 million Americans want to adopt a pet, yet only about one-third of pets in shelters find homes. So it partnered with Best Friends Animal Society for a campaign to drive adoption of 4,000 pets and also boost Zappos’ reputation for behaviors aligned with its values. In the end, 6,200 animals were taken home—and Zappos took home a first place award in the “Corporate/Nonprofit Partnership” category of Ragan’s 2016 Nonprofit PR Awards.
A lot of nonprofits focus on animal welfare, but only one—Best Friends Animal Society—is dedicated to ending the euthanizing of healthy and treatable pets in animal shelters. Despite the group’s 30-year effort, some 9,000 dogs and cats are euthanized daily in American shelters. Zappos’ campaign aimed to heighten awareness of the problem and encourage adoption of pets during the period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday under the clever label, “Home for the Pawlidayz.”
To differentiate the campaign from the scores of holiday-themed giving programs, Zappos eschewed the typical add-a-dollar donation tactic, offering instead to cover the adoption fee shelters require when someone adopts a pet—about $100—and donated an additional $150 per adoption to the Society. Zappos specified the shelters participating in the program across the country.
A coordinated effort between the Society, Zappos and local shelters resulted in more than 6,200 adoptions while generating more than 300 million impressions for Zappos, along with half a million page views. The campaign was executed with a Zappos-housed microsite and promotion through Facebook and Twitter, a media relations effort that earned 4,112 articles and nearly 320 million media impressions, email outreach, and employee advocacy.
Kudos to Zappos for their good efforts.