SHELTER DOGS AGAINST STRESS

ClientMENZIS
Category A03. Healthcare
TitleSHELTER DOGS AGAINST STRESS
Product/ServiceINSURANCE
Entrant DDB Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Idea Creation DDB Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Idea Creation 2 TRIBAL Amstelveen, THE NETHERLANDS
Media Placement MINDSHARE Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Production 100% HALAL Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Credits
Name Company Position
Joris Kuijpers DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Executive Creative Director
Ed van Bennekom DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Creative Director
Jasper Diks DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Creative Director
Renate Ebbenhorst DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Senior Producer
Nelly de Wit DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Senior Producer
Manfred Bik DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Strategy Director
Linda de Graaff DDB & Tribal Amsterdam Business Director
Anna van ‘t Hek 100% Halal Director
Ronald Hietbrink 100% Halal Producer
Tim Kerbosch 100% Halal Lighting Cam. Man/D.O.P.
Annelien van Wijnbergen Kapsalon Off-line editer
Erik van den Heuvel De Grot On-line editer
Sharkee HaaiFaai Deluxe Sound studio
Maurice van Dijk Menzis Brand Strategist
Jeroen Hamstra Menzis Senior Marketing Communication advisor

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

Menzis is a brand that is airing a promise on a high level, with a campaign that is encouraging a healthy lifestyle – instead of offering their main product (health insurance policies). We therefore need to substantiate this high level brand image in a way that really means something in the lives of people. With this direct campaign we give people the tools to instantly do something about their health. Activating people to improve their lives is essential: if we fail to ‘prove’ to people that we can make a real difference, we will just be another corporate promise.

Background

In the Netherlands over 50 percent of the population suffers from stress at work. This stress automatically triggers other health problems, varying from depression, insomnia to eventually even burnouts. So, if we can make people aware that they can reduce their stress, we can help prevent a lot of other problems. Our brief was to find a new solution to help people to reduce their stress and make them aware of the risks of leading a stressful life. Studies have shown that dogs reduce stress. When you pet a dog, your body produces oxytocin. That reduces your stress levels and makes you feel better. But a lot of people do not own a dog because of their working life. At the same time thousands of dogs in animal shelters are waiting for a new home. This led to the idea to connect shelter dogs to employees with stress.

Describe the creative idea

The Shelter dogs against stress programme is a collaboration between companies and animal shelters initiated by Menzis. Because when we lower the stress we can prevent a lot of other problems. Employees are activated to take part and adopt a ‘company dog’ from the shelter. The shelter dog is adopted full-time by one employee, and taken to their place of work every day to provide companionship to all employees. Each dog in the programme is saved from a lonely life in the shelter - and all employees at the companies involved have the chance to be more relaxed, have fun, and see their stress levels go down. A win-win situation for humans and animals. With the programme we raised awareness for both shelter animals and stress in the workplace.

Describe the strategy

Menzis is a health insurance company and in the Netherlands such companies are restricted by law when it comes to market competition. Their basic product offering (the insurance policy) is preset in regulations – it’s not allowed to differentiate. For Menzis we designed a strategy to escape the ‘red ocean’ of companies offering exactly the same. A campaign that supports a healthier lifestyle to create an emotional benefit, and thus to create brand preference. Targeted at men and women aged 30-70. We support that healthy lifestyle by creating tools for consumers (even if they’re not insured at Menzis) to make more healthy life choices. In this case reducing stress levels. That’s why we started the Shelter dogs against stress programme and connected shelter dogs to co-workers to reduce their stress levels.

Describe the execution

We kicked off the campaign with social videos, pre-rolls, banners and radio that led to the Menzis website. At this website, people can download a toolkit to convince their employers and colleagues of the benefits of bringing in a company dog. The toolkit includes a questionnaire and an application form. On the website people can find a dog they like. The dogs are specially selected by the shelters to have a character that is a good fit for a company with multiple employees. In addition to this, people can also do a stress test and see how to improve their stress levels. The platform also offers other helpful tips to reduce stress. Together with a research report about the stress levels in the Netherlands we launched the initiative in PR, which was instantly covered by the national news.

List the results

With the Shelter dogs against stress programme we raised awareness for two serious problems in the Netherlands: shelter dogs and stress at work. The campaign has just been launched but the results are already very positive: since the launch of the programme 75 dogs have already found a new home (+200% increase compared with same period last year). 5,000 people did the online stress test (+150% above benchmark). The initiative was covered by national media, including the two biggest news sites, achieving +15M impressions only in the Netherlands. With the campaign we increased awareness around the fact that Menzis has a health platform and supports people in living a healthier lifestyle.