Working with an animal rights organisation has been something I’ve always hoped to do one day. This became a reality when the organisation invited me in early 2014 to help out. At that point Ban Animal Trading (BAT) didn’t have a brand identity of their own. After a few meetings and research into brand design for animal rights organisations, it became clear that BAT needed their own brand strategy, identity and campaign designs.
Designing a brand identity for a animal rights group was tricky. For many, animal rights is associated with “extremist” groups. The identity had to therefore not scare the public or make them hesitant to contact the organisation when reaching out. At the same time it had to also not come across as too soft or passive and had to emphasise that the organisation represents a group who is serious about taking action against animal cruelty.
We decided on “a beauty without cruelty initiative” as BAT’s subtitle which later that year changed to “compassion in action” due to BAT becoming their own registered NPO. The existing red and yellow colours, used on their Facebook page, was replaced with a yellow, black and white colour palette. The logo was designed using a strong uppercase font, with an invisible line cutting through the words “animal trading”. The identity can be described as simple, strong and focused.
Once we had the brand identity in place, we were able to focus on their first campaign. A list of brand “do’s and don’ts” was presented which formed the basic brand strategy. One of the key things the brand had to avoid was to shock, sadden or depress the public with the realities of animal cruelty. The only way to achieve this, whilst still pointing out the facts, was to give the public something to aspire to. This meant the brand had to focus on giving the public accessible ways of making a difference. For the first campaign, BAT emphasised the need to encourage more adoptions from local shelters which became the brief and focus for the first campaign.
The chosen campaign concept labelled people, who choose to adopt an animal from a shelter, as heroic. The “Heroes” campaign was rolled out mid 2014 with a television advert, billboards and magazine adverts. This was realised due to many generous professionals who helped to refine and form the entire campaign (I’ve listed each member and company below). BAT has since grown in support and popularity and some term their approach to animal rights as “neo-activism” due to their focus on education and empowerment.
Ban Animal Trading