The Eye

This High-Tech Pet Adoption Campaign in London Will Tug at Your Heartstrings

Barley is the star of an interactive campaign to encourage pet adoption in the U.K.

Courtesy of Framestore

Pet stores have long used the puppy-in-the-window trick to tug at the heartstrings of passersby. Now an innovative, high-tech pet adoption campaign for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home uses interactive billboards featuring a lovably scruffy pooch named Barley to try to emotionally engage potential pet adopters in East London.

In the #LookingForYou campaign developed by OgilvyOne UK, Exterion Media, and Framestore (which won a visual effects Oscar for Gravity), leaflets embedded with radio identification frequency, or RFID, tags are handed out at Westfield Stratford City shopping mall.

Leaflets embedded with RFID tags active billboards, making it appear as if Barley is interacting with passersby.

Courtesy of Framestore

The pamphlets activate outdoor billboards that make it appear as if Barley is running up to them, striking cute poses, following them, and generally engaging in adorably solicitous canine trickery to seduce them into bringing him home. (Barley has since found a family, but the 155-year-old charity has an average of 300 dogs in its care at any one time, with an average of 13 new arrivals daily.)

Check out the video below to see Barley in action: