‘No jiggery pokery’: DraftFCBers on the Driving Dogs phenomenon

When it comes to Kiwi-made viral sensations, we may have a new champion, because DraftFCB, Mini and the SPCA’s campaign that put homeless mutts behind the wheel of a modified Mini has been picked up by most of the world’s major media outlets, taken the cake as the most shared
video on BBC three days running, with 225,000 shares to Facebook and 7,900 to
Twitter, and ranks as the biggest news event on Campbell Live
in its seven-and-a-half year history. 

“We’ve lost track [on the campaign uptake], it’s gone so
incredibly crazy. Pretty much every major news outlet in every country has
covered it,” says executive creative director Regan Grafton. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWAK0J8UhzkThe YouTube footage of “Dogs this smart deserve a home” has fuelled the fire with over 900,000 video views of their
clips and related uploaded videos—and that’s not including the Campbell Live
clip on Monday night, which showed Porter the dog driving reporter Tristram Clayton around
a carting track in Avondale.

In the US the canine racers have featured on the The Letterman
, Huffington Post, USA Today, Mashable.com, ABC News, FastCo, in the UK it
appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, BBC,
and over in Oz it made it onto Sunrise, The Age, and NineMSN.

 “On the Guardian it’s
the most viewed and talked about all week – it kicked Kate Middleton out of
number one,” says Grafton.

Angela Spain, general manager of PR, said “We hoped it
would be huge, but we never expected it go global in the way it has. We have
had unprecedented interest and enquiries from every corner of the Earth.”

Back home, Kiwi media has also run rampant with New Zealand
, Nightline, Stuff.co.nz and the Herald on Sunday all getting a slice of
the action, not least because of Campbell Live’s coverage. Its teasing out over
a week, from introduction to live-driving, let the story propagate around the

DraftFCB creative Peter Vegas says the Campbell Live shoot possibly
covered Porter’s worst driving session ever (Porter couldn’t quite make the
corner) but that it added to the drama and the comedy factor, with support for his
fumbling paws rolling in from around the globe.

“People have made heroes of
the dogs which is what we were after,” says Vegas.

Besides, not going to script was part of the feel of the project. Special effects weren’t part of the plan,” says DraftFCB creative Matt
Williams. “From the get-go we wanted it to be real, with no jiggery-pokery
going on.”

Grafton says it’s not just the New Zealand SPCA that has had
a massive increase in enquiries for dogs. Anecdotally, shelters in the UK and
the US have had interest as well.

“We are hoping it will have halo effect for shelters of dogs
globally,” they said.

For Vegas, his defining moment of the campaign was when
David Letterman himself said “I love this story as life itself”, making it the theme of the Top 10 on the show.

Many viewers have requested more footage of dogs driving so
a recap was shown on Campbell Live again last night (Tuesday).

This Saturday, viewers have a chance day to meet the dogs at
the Mangere SPCA 10.30am til 2.30pm, with the Mini,
rig and trainers also in attendance.



James Mok – Asia Pacific Executive Creative Director

Regan Grafton – Executive Creative Director

Tony Clewett – Executive Creative Director

Matt Williams – Creative

Peter Vegas – Creative



Esther Watkins – Head of TV

Sarah Yetton – TV Producer

Marco Siraky – Senior Motion Graphics Designer

Blaire Walker – Head of Post Production

Nick McFarlane – Senior Designer



Kevin Akers – Senior Interactive Producer

Catherine Chi – Interactive Designer


Account Service

Toby Sellers – Group Account Director

Sally Willis – Account Director

Stephanie Huber – Account Manager


Public Relations

Angela Spain – General Manager

Eloise Hay – Account Manager



Rachel Leyland – Media Manager

Rufus Chuter – Communications Planning Director

Simon Teagle – General Manager Media

Sarah McEwen – Media Buyer


Digital and Social Media

Harri Owen – Head of Digital and Content

Steph Pearson – Senior Digital Media Planner/Buyer

Andrew Thompson – Social Media Campaign Manager

Sam Boniface – Digital and Social Media Campaign Manager

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