PAWS Chicago, the organization dedicated to building No Kill animal communities in Chicago and beyond, is now enabling “Dogenations” – or donations via various forms of cryptocurrency – ahead of the unveiling of its new state-of-the-art hospital for homeless animals, the PAWS Chicago Medical Center.
To launch this new offering and drive incremental donations, PAWS Chicago partnered on a pro-bono campaign with creative advertising agency Leo Burnett, which capitalized on meme culture—specifically the “laser eyes” meme—for out-of-home advertising that targets a tech-savvy demographic of potential donors. Roughly 59 million Americans own some form of cryptocurrency—an increase of 61% in the last two years—and “Dogenations” offer cryptocurrency holders a meaningful way to use their digital coins by donating directly through the QR code displayed on the ads.
For the campaign, Leo Burnett donated over 180 out-of-home advertisements which can be seen on digital billboards–with the QR code to donate–throughout the Chicagoland area, including at Guaranteed Rate Field, various Jewel Osco and Walgreens locations, Northbrook Court and the United Center, from August into September.
“We are a solutions-based, forward-thinking organization, which is why we are eager to connect with the growing cryptocurrency community, who can help sustain the future of animal welfare in Chicago and save animals’ lives,” said Susanna Homan, PAWS Chicago Chief Executive Officer.
While 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized in the U.S. each year, PAWS Chicago is very close to achieving their mission of a No Kill Chicago. Since the organization’s founding almost 25 years ago, they have provided nearly 300,000 free and low-cost spay/neuter surgeries in under-resourced communities, helping to reduce the number of homeless animals killed in Chicago by more than 91 percent.
But as they get closer to reaching the No Kill goal, the work gets harder: the animals being saved are sicker or more severely injured. The new premier Medical Center is a necessary next step, enabling PAWS Chicago to support the care of over 28,000 animals each year, providing treatment for dogs and cats locally and from 13 high-kill states where pets are most at risk of euthanasia. Each donation supports that life-saving work and furthers the organization’s mission.
Millennials are most active in cryptocurrency and have recently overtaken Gen X as the largest pet-owning cohort of Americans, as pets and cryptocurrency trend simultaneously. #DogsOfTikTok has 78 billion views and #DogsOfInstagram has 248 million posts. Meanwhile, conversations around cryptocurrency are especially active on Reddit, particularly on /r/CryptoCurrency (3.2 million Subscribers) and /r/Dogecoin (2 million Subscribers).
“The rise of Dogecoin is further proof that people love dogs,” said Ben Doessel, Associate Creative Director at Leo Burnett. “Our team coupled this trending meme with PAWS Chicago, which has been a driving force in animal welfare for decades, to give dog lovers a new way to make a real impact.”