Pet Valu shows how love (and a good dog) rescued members of the LGBTQ+ community

Who: Pet Valu, with Arrivals + Departures and Beacon Strategic Communications for a digital influencer component.

What: “Rescued by Love,” a new Pride-themed campaign intended to raise awareness of the “Don’t You Want Me”—a photography project that showcases the transformative effect that rescue dogs have had on members of the LGBTQ+ community. The national campaign is Arrivals + Departures’ first work for Pet Valu since winning the account earlier this year.

When & Where: The multi-channel campaign launched this week, built around a long-form (two minutes and 20 second) video and a 30-second spot. The ads are running on YouTube, CTV’s video-on-demand platform, OutTV and social platforms.

Why: The program is about creating awareness of “Don’t You Want Me,” a visual record of LGBTQ+ people who have been healed and even transformed by their rescue dogs. According to its website, Don’t You Want Me “aims to highlight what happens when marginalized and historically misunderstood beings receive love and support.”

How: The anchor spot profiles members of the LGBTQ+ community as they talk about how their rescue dog’s unconditional love helped them overcome adversity—from an inability to find a romantic partner, to overcoming an eating disease, and struggling with bi-polar disorder.

All of their testimonials are presented in a way that makes it seem like their life has been turned around by a new romantic partner, with lines like “I was ready to give up on life entirely, then she came into my life,” and “I was looking for love and acceptance, and then I found it,” and “I’ve met the one that I love the most in the whole world, and she’s everything to me,” before revealing that this new love was actually a rescue dog.

For the influencer component, Beacon Strategic Communications partnered with several high-profile influencers, including Allie + Sam, Kristen McKenzie and Matt Benfield to showcase their stories of how rescue dogs provided.

And we quote: “I cannot overstate how proud and grateful I am to be part of this campaign, both personally and professionally. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to contribute to helping Canadians learn about the Don’t You Want Me project and the support it provides to the LGBTQ+ community and we could not have asked for a more meaningful campaign-first with the team at Arrivals + Departures.” — Idan Driman, vice-president of marketing,Pet Valu

Chris Powell