TBWA\New Zealand, in collaboration with Southern Cross Pet Insurance and the New Zealand Veterinary Association, has introduced Paws Off – the world’s first freely available warning symbol designed to alert pet owners about toxic ingredients in human food and beverages that may harm their pets.
This campaign is part of Southern Cross Pet Insurance’s ongoing efforts to identify and combat potential threats to pets, enabling them to live healthier and longer lives. The aim of this initiative is to encourage brands and marketers to prioritise pet food safety and prevent pets from falling ill due to human foods.
Recent research* from Southern Cross Pet Insurance shows that one in three Kiwi pet owners are in the dark about the everyday foods and drinks which can be harmful – or even fatal – to their beloved furry friends.
To combat this, the pet insurer, alongside the NZVA is launching the world’s first freely available warning symbol to educate people on ingredients that are unsafe for pets. Free and easy for anybody to use, the symbol comes with simple guidelines and information around what makes certain foods and drinks so toxic.
CMO’s are invited to show their support by applying the Paws Off! symbol to packaging and sharing it on social media. To access the symbol and information CMO’s can visit pawsoff.co.nz. TBWA\NZ worked with Seachange Studio to create the symbol and design system which is agnostic and can be applied by any relevant brand.
Following the initial packaging-focused phase of the campaign, Southern Cross Pet Insurance will be raising awareness amongst consumers around toxic ingredients for pets. Veterinarians will receive pamphlets highlighting the food safety messaging to hand out to pet owners, which will also be available to download and share.
Paws Off! is supported by a fully integrated campaign including film, OOH, PR, digital and social, where the Paws Off! character is reaching out to global CMOs and brands with examples on how the warning symbol could be adopted.
Shane Bradnick, CCO at TBWA\New Zealand, says he is proud to launch this project with Southern Cross pet Insurance and NZVA.
“We hope the warning symbol is adopted by brands far and wide to help educate all humans on items that have the potential to make our pets sick. We’ve already had encouraging conversations with lots of brands and businesses about Paws Off!, and I’d like to invite anyone in the food and drink industry to reach out and support Paws Off! in some way. Seachange studio also did an awesome job working with us to create the symbol and design system so it can be easily applied and used.”
Bridgette Muir, Head of Product and Marketing, Southern Cross Pet Insurance, adds: “This project is entirely insight-led and has the potential to be truly transformational, helping more pets live their best lives for longer. We want manufacturers, suppliers and retailers to use the symbol on their packaging and in their communications. So, we’re laying it down as a challenge to all food and beverage brands. Alongside this we have a strong campaign educating people on what’s safe and what’s not for their pets, meaning Paws Off! will make a difference to the wellbeing of thousands of pets”.
Sally Cory, Head of Veterinary Services, Companion Animal, New Zealand Vet Association Says: “Knowing what’s safe and not safe is super important. Southern Cross has shared some worrying numbers with us around the volume of claims paid out for consumption of chocolate, raisins, and related items over the last 12 months. The road to recovery is an expensive one, especially if you don’t have pet insurance to help foot the bill for treatment.”
*SCPI undertook online research with 1,000 New Zealanders, aged 18+, conducted by Pure Profile