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2017 Bronze Charity


Proximity London

Client: Guide Dogs

Who Knew?

Campaign overview

Guide Dogs’ traditional, successful approach was waning, TV had become more crowded than ever and, above all, 60% of people were finding it hard to trust charities.

A more human approach was needed to reach people again.


Daytime TV is saturated with charity DRTV ads, more than ever before. Despite the 76 charities on TV it can feel like one monotonous execution. The public are fed up and disengaged.

Proximity London knew the model was broken.

To get potential supporters to act they had to move beyond the default formula and find a way to drive a real connection.

Research claimed that people cared about people with sight loss. However, in implicit research they found that only images of people with sight loss embracing life fully prompted an emotional, subconscious reaction.

This gave Proximity London the emotional springboard and they shifted their strategy.

They would show donors that sponsoring a puppy unleashed the potential for life, moving away from brand and sector convention to prove hope can drive action.


Rather than focussing on the problem at the beginning, Proximity London showed the solution from the start, so the public instantly believed the impact Guide Dogs have.

Providing a sense of belonging became the creative force for 'Who Knew'.

They took the form of poetry and invited six people with sight loss to share the poem.

They focussed on close up shots of people with sight loss, forcing viewers to engage beyond the stereotypes.

They contextualised shots. People with sight loss were not isolated or navigating a bus stop. They showed students, DJs and cricketers. The banker reliance on the puppy for connection led to 75% of the ad consisting of solo puppy shots.

They flipped that ratio and 75% of their ad displayed the people the charity helps. Guide dogs had stopped being visual props, they were the tool to give someone their life back.


Net response rate instantly doubled 97% against banker.

Guide Dogs finished 2016 with record high results. And these powerful results have continued throughout 2017.

Faith in the channel has also soared, with an 88% increase in DRTV investment.

All resulting in a 131% increase in TV income, to £834,861.


Francesco Perillo (Creative Partner) Proximity London - Tristan Sellen (Creative Partner) Proximity London - Jodie Armstrong-Downes (Planning Director) Proximity London - John Treacy (Executive Creative Director) Proximity London - Suzanne Partridge (Managing Partner) Proximity London - Eve Berry (Senior Account Manager) Proximity London - Kathy Howes (Senior Creative Producer) Proximity London - Diane Williams (Copywriter) Proximity London

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