DDB Aotearoa launches new campaign to raise funds for New Zealand’s first Pet Refuge


After two years of fundraising, planning and building, the country’s first shelter dedicated to pets affected by family violence has opened its doors this week. Now, Pet Refuge New Zealand is asking Kiwis to help keep them open through a new campaign with DDB Aotearoa.


Back in 2019, the agency launched its first integrated campaign with Pet Refuge New Zealand – a new charity that was founded in response to research by Women’s Refuge which revealed more than half of domestic abuse survivors delayed leaving their abuser out of fear for an animal’s safety.

DDB Aotearoa’s large-scale campaign helped the new charity raise enough money – more than $300,000 – to build a shelter that would serve as a safe place for pets while their owners escaped.

With the shelter finally up and running, this latest campaign aims to raise awareness of the challenges faced by domestic abuse victims, particularly those with pets. For many of these victims, leaving their pet with their abuser simply isn’t an option and they often have nowhere to go.

The film tells the story of a woman who has finally worked up the courage to leave her abusive partner, taking her dog and cat along with her.

Through a moving portrayal of one woman’s struggle to find a safe place to stay with her pets, the campaign demonstrates how Pet Refuge can help to remove some of those barriers so victims can get their family to safety. It asks Kiwis to give a pet a safe place to stay by donating to Pet Refuge’s Safe Beds for Pets programme.

Says Gary Steele, executive creative director, DDB Aotearoa: “The creative team leading this have again created a powerful campaign that addresses a highly complex and sensitive issue with care and passion. The entire agency and all of our production partners, particularly the team at Finch and Liquid, have given this initiative their full support the whole way through. I’m proud of all the world-class thinking, talent and creativity that has gone into making it a success.

“Our previous campaign resonated with Kiwis on such a huge scale that our fundraising target was surpassed within the first seven days. I’m hopeful that our latest campaign will move New Zealanders in much the same way.”

Julie Chapman, founder of Pet Refuge says the organisation is pleased to again partner with DDB Aotearoa, particularly following the overwhelming success of the initial campaign two years ago: “We have overcome the first hurdle and are proud to provide a safe haven for pets affected by domestic violence. Now, we have another challenge – we need Kiwis to donate so we can continue to care for these vulnerable animals while their owners escape their abusers.

“I can think of no better partner than DDB Aotearoa to help us get this message across. Their treatment of such a difficult issue has been well considered and executed right from the beginning of our partnership. This campaign is an incredibly moving depiction of something far too many New Zealanders are experiencing on a daily basis.”

Pet Refuge is encouraging Kiwis to donate $25 a month to its Safe Beds for Pets programme and support its mission to provide temporary accommodation for pets affected by domestic violence, so their owners can escape abuse. To donate to this important cause, visit petrefuge.org.nz

The latest campaign launches on 11th August with a 90”, 30” and 15” film, and is integrated with media extending across print, digital, social and OOH.

Founder and Trustee: Julie Chapman
General Manager of Fundraising and Marketing: Sophie Mowday
Marketing Coordinator: Annie Kane
Media Specialist: Sarah Stewart

Creative Agency: DDB Aotearoa
Executive Creative Director: Gary Steele
Creative Director: Christie Cooper
Creative Director: James Conner
Junior Copywriter: Maisie D’Cruz
Junior Art Director: Lily Macintosh
Managing Partner: Nikki McKelvie
Business Partner: Crystal Clark
Senior Business Manager: Ella Bilham
Strategist: Tom Sykes
TV Producer: Tabitha Parke-Gailey
Agency Producer: Kat Egarr

Production Company: Finch
Managing Director: Corey Esse
Executive Producer: Rebekah ‘Bex’ Kelly
Director: Zia Mandviwalla
Producer: Sarah Cook
DOP: Maria Ines Manchego
Production Design: Liz Thompson-Nevitt
Post Production: Atticus
Offline Editor: Nick Carew
Colourist: Pete Ritchie
Online Editor: Stuart Bedford

Media: OMD
Head of Planning: Chrissy Payne
Account Manager: Francesca Hermans
Account Executive: Juliet Ede

Music & Sound Design: Liquid Studios
Composer: Pete Van Der Fluit
Sound Engineer: Craig Matuschka
Voices: Mint Voices

Casting: Catch Casting Ltd

Stills Production
Photographer: Malcolm Campbell

Special mentions:
Animal Ark
Mt Atkinson Coffee Roasters
Panavision NZ Ltd
The Rebel Fleet
Transformer Film TV Services Ltd
Locations Central
Screen Auckland
JC Decaux
Go Media