Ad Creatives Work Toward A "No-Kill Los Angeles"

NKLA is out to reduce the number of adoptable animals that are euthanized in Los Angeles each year.

A coalition led by advertising creatives is working to save the lives of L.A.'s homeless animals.

Ad legend Lee Clow, the creative head of TBWA’s Media Arts Lab (and a known dog lover), is among the creatives at the forefront of No-Kill Los Angeles, which aims to drastically lower the number of animals euthanized in Los Angeles, and to make L.A. a no-kill city by 2017. This week, the organization headed by Omnicom’s Let There Be Dragons and the Best Friends Animal Society is rolling out an extensive campaign to help spread awareness for the cause.

The print effort uses bold, black-and-white imagery of dogs and cats to draw attention to a grim statistic—there are an estimated 17,000 adoptable animals killed in Los Angeles shelters each year. These portraits carry the memorable "NKLA" slogan next to the logo of Best Friends Animal Society, and they’re beginning to spring up around Los Angeles.

In addition to the outdoor ads, Let There Be Dragons (a content innovation unit of Omnicom) also created two videos depicting the importance of neutering and adoption. In one, a young L.A. resident talks about an unseen "badass" called Makaveli, who, of course, turns out to be a gorgeous adopted dog.

Watch the NKLA Manifesto below and click through the slide show above to see the print and outdoor ads (and some memorable faces).

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  • Darmclean

    LOL - Dude - I DO support it with my own money on a regular basis! And I give to charity of the human kind as well. Nobody is taking away anything from the 'kids'. There is enough for everyone should we all decide to contribute and make good choices and share knowledge and compassion.

  • Guest

    , you have an awful lot to say, but you don't have a factual basis for much of it.  this NKLA campaign is an effort of the Best Friends Animal Society which has a proven track record when it comes to saving animals and starting movements.  they approached a well known ad guy, who is also a well known animal lover through a former art director at his agency who personally saved countless animals.

    the agency then asked for volunteers and animal lovers throughout the office gave freely of their own time for almost a year to make this happen.

    as far as putting their money where their mouths are, the agency found homes for every single animal that they featured in this campaign.  and that's just the tip of the iceberg.  they did the same with the pedigree adoption drive campaigns.  they walk the walk.

    your issue seems to be that you would prefer to see the money go to people.  loving animals and people are not mutually exclusive.  

    this is the same agency that donated its time and resources to do the very first campaign for the Pediatric AIDS foundation at a time where no one wanted to touch it.  

    the list of efforts that ad people have championed out of the goodness of their hearts is long.  some help people and social services...some help dogs.

  • 44441234

    Campaign looks fresh and cool. Tupak reference  = the bomb! Excellent Makaveli message and spot! Bravo!!!!!

  • Roland Sigmond

    I myself am an ad person and animal lover but I don't think ad people should (or have the skills to) start movements. 
    The root of a movement is always an extremely passionate and personal urge to solve a problem. Not an urge to solve a problem creatively. A small distinction but it makes all the difference.

  • Liz

    Love this campaign. My only complaint about the manifesto is the use of the word "pet" - I've always found that "companion" is more powerful and also more indicative what these animals offer us.

  • LogicalPetLover

    If people would stop buying unwanted pets, and start getting their animals fixed, we'd have less unwanted animals to kill. So how about focusing on education, instead of just saying no more killing....

  • altus

    money spent to keep unwanted animals alive means less money toward education and social services that have long been mediocre.  I'd like to see these "ad creatives" take money out of their own pocket to keep these animals alive. there are far more important issues to consign monetary resources toward

  • Snoop

    I see your point. But I still hold that adopting an animal today means that $10 a week is saved from today on. 10 dogs in a shelter. One adopted. 9 dogs in a shelter. Cheaper than 10. That's some progress. 

    Your point is absolutely valid that getting all them adopted is a crazy, impossible goal. But you have to aim high.

    In your tally, if those 17000 killed were actually adopted, you'd still save that $9 mil. But it would be done without killing 17000 animals. And 17000 people, kids, families would have the benefit of companionship, which in the case of the elderly, has been shown to have a great impact on their quality of life. And that's helping humans.

    As for your other point, 100% agree that we don't need any more short-lived, look at my ethical side bullshit. (see kony 2012). It has to be a real committment. Not just window dressing. But i guess that's where the power of creative people comes into play. If they CAN spark a movement through the skills they have, more power to them. Stay on them, keep demanding results. And maybe some good will come out of it.


  • altus

    am I really? adoption only reduces cost after it happens, and neutering doesn't reduce cost--it only prevents hypothetical future expenses; neither of those things actually reduces the reality of $10 per animal, per week.  that's $520 per animal a year.  the NKLA site states 56,000 were taken in just last year, and 17,000 were killed.  the annual expense of keeping all of those 56,000 alive would be $29,120,000, but 17,000 were killed, so the annual expense of keeping the remaining 39,000 was reduced down to $20,280,000.. and these numbers don't even take into account the numbers of animals who had been in shelters prior to this year.

    what are the actual chances of getting enough donations, or adopters, to offset the yearly $20million+ expense of keeping these poor creatures alive?  look at LA.  there isn't that much extra money.

    if NKLA and the "ad creatives" behind it actually give enough of a shit about their cause, if this is not just a short-lived "look at how ethical of a person I am" vie for attention, if these people devoted their lives to the plight of unwanted animals, then perhaps they might gather the necessary funds after ceaseless campaigning and hassling people in front of grocery stores.  if they truly care, that is what is required to squeeze out money from people who are already almost squeezed to death.but I don't actually believe this is anything but a short-lived "look at how ethical of a person I am" vie for attention, we all know how easy it is to crank out a lofty ad campaign and spend a bunch of time selecting a font suite for the graphics, but it's difficult to live up to the stated goals, which are unrealistic and relatively irrelevant in the context of LA's greater problems.

    if people in the LA area, many of whom probably were the ones getting rid of animals they couldn't afford, had extra dozens of millions of extra dollars to throw around, they'd better donate it to something more socially valuable than creatures who don't have the obligation to shape and repair humanity's future.

  • Snoop

    Altus, I think you're not seeing the real point here. Let's set aside the whole "humans are more important than animals" thing for a second and just talk about the solutions NKLA is advocating. Their website encourages adoption and spaying/neutering, both of which reduce the cost of "keeping animals alive" in shelters, by keeping animals out of shelters. So that's a money-saving effort. They also encourage donations, which they claim $10 can feed an animal for a week. This also reduces the financial burden. Finally, I assume that these ad creatives and production people did this on a pro-bono basis, which means they are giving their time and resources, which may not be money, but is of value as well. 

    So if this effort is successful, how does that take money away from education and other social efforts? Again, fewer animals in shelters means less money spent keeping them alive. 

  • altus

    again, darmclean, I'd like to see people advocating this to put their own money toward it.  sure, animals shouldn't be "disposable" per se or treated with cruelty but I don't think you understand the concept of prioritizing human life over animal life.  would you really argue that some unwanted dog or cat should deserve to live a miserable life in a kennel for a few extra years at the cost of an inner city third grade classroom not having, say, subsidized textbooks and healthy lunches?  you should examine your logic in reducing the concept of prioritizing down to "a disgusting lack for all living things"; it's, well, not logical.

    people advocating a nonessential cause like this should be prepared to personally support the cause out of their own pocket.  that includes you, darmclean.

  • Darmclean

    The point of all of this is a disgusting lack of respect for all living things! Thank you -- you did an incredible job! We need to as a society stop thinking of animals as disposable. They are living beings that deserve to live a good life. Education and awareness IS the key - money is the vehicle to do that. Rock on!