A new breed of election posters had Durban voters wondering if animal rights organisations were joining the election race.
Normal, boring political party posters were given a fresh look on Tuesday with perfectly matched, eye-catching posters placed directly underneath showing the party leader in question cradling a beloved pet and imploring the passers by to “Upgrade a Life”.
The posters were in fact a clever publicity campaign by local advertising agency, the Hardy Boys, on behalf of the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA).
NSPCA spokesperson Christine Kuch explained on its facebook page: “Elections are generally a time when South Africans reflect on issues that are important to them. Our aim with this campaign is to remind voters that the welfare of all animals should be one of those issues.”
Kuch added that while the organisation was not endorsing any political party she hoped more parties would include the welfare of all animals on their election manifestos in future. “Jobs, economic empowerment and the environment are tremendously important issues. But we believe strongly that how a nation treats its animals is as important. It’s a measure of the country’s maturity and compassion.”
The campaign has quickly garnered attention from social media users.
Nathalie Tane posted on the organisation’s facebook page, “I love it ! If you did it for just one political guy, then yes it would not have worked. When I saw the first one…an ANC one, I thought ” what the hell???…but then I saw a DA one and INKATHA one, and then it dawned on me….what the real message was about !!!! not about politics, but animals. WELL DONE SPCA !!! WE LOVE IT !”
The topic soon began trending on twitter with users posting their favourite pictures online:
— Ramagoshi (@KoketsoSachane) May 6, 2014
What a brilliant campaign! For all SA animal lovers out there Hole in 1 NSPCA – National Council of SPCA’s!… http://t.co/pfoZXEuBDF
— Langebaan Estate (@LBNGolfEstate) May 6, 2014
— Hylton Warburton (@hyltonwarburton) May 6, 2014
Other social media users since pointed out that the NSPCA campaign looks like it may have been based on an overseas campaign.
A good ad should be inspiration, not a blueprint. Looks like the Hardy Boys lifted a campaign from overseas. pic.twitter.com/tFvGcep1Ah
— Johann Schwella (@johannschwella) May 6, 2014