Barking Smartly: +Kota Pet Adoption Campaign

Faced with a limited budget, people from the Mexican pet store +Kota came up with a brilliant promotional campaign for its pet adoption program, which involved ‘invisible’ owners taking dogs on a walk.


The store owners created floating leashes that made it seem like dogs were being walked by invisible human companions. Attached to the leashes are the words “ADOPT ME,” and written on the back was information on how the public could adopt the animals.

The campaign was a huge success, helping 221 homeless dogs find new owners.

Watch the video here.

There are four essential elements when creating a powerful advertisement:attention, interest, desire, and action. Let’s scrutinize the pet adoption campaign in greater detail to learn how it worked.

  1. Attention: Dogs being walked by an invisible owner! How could you not stop and wonder what’s going on?
  2. Interest: Not only does a dog walking with an invisible human companion attract attention, it also invites interest. Why is this animal walking alone? Why does it seem like there is a person holding the leash?
  3. Desire: One of the reasons that this promotional campaign was successful is because it creates a genuine desire in people to adopt a pet. Seeing a dog unsupervised, alone, and potentially homeless in the street opens people’s eyes to the reality that there are many dogs out there looking for a home. The palpable lack of an owner holding a leash sends the message: “This dog needs an owner. It could be YOU.”
  4. Action: Attached to every dog’s leash are details on how one can adopt the pet. On the front page, it says, “ADOPT ME,” and on the back, there is information on how one can adopt the dog. Once a campaign effectively grabs attention, incites interest, and creates desire, there is only one thing left to do: allow the audience to act. Providing information on how they could do adopt the pet was the last step in pushing the audience to take action.


There are several challenges everyone must face when conceptualizing a promotional campaign. There are budgetary limits. The law could also be limiting: some countries impose strict laws as to what things can be included in an advertisement or not. Sometimes, there are also cultural limits, like sticking to what’s tasteful for your target audience.

In this pet adoption campaign, though the store owners were limited by budgetary constraints, the owners were able to create an effective ad by thinking outside the box and by keeping AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) in mind.