Southern Cross Pet Insurance and TBWA\New Zealand have teamed up with designer Matthew Adams Dolan for the launch of VIS, a high-visibility capsule fashion collection to keep pets safe on the road. The campaign comes as part of their ‘Live Your Pet Life’ initiative, which seeks to raise awareness of the dangers pets face in engaging ways, and combat these risks to keep our companions living longer.
After analysing data on the main risks pets face, TBWA\NZ and Southern Cross identified a road safety issue among the Kiwi animal community - who can be difficult to see, especially at night. To shed light on the matter, the teams came together to launch VIS, a collection of cautious couture for pets that’s high fashion by day, high visibility by night.
To develop the glamorous garments, TBWA\NZ partnered up with international Italian designer Matthew Adams Dolan, known for dressing stars such as Gigi Hadid and Lady Gaga. Drawing from his experience working with the likes of Vogue, Rihanna, and his own dog Maisie, Matthew fused function with fashion, using highly reflective materials to create the eye-catching couture. From puffer jackets and a ‘nightbreaker’ coat to winter woollies and bandana accessories, any pet posing in VIS - The Road Safety Collection will be unmissable.
To ensure a showstopping launch, TBWA\NZ enlisted the talents of art and directing collective The Glue Society and photographer Derek Henderson, impressed by the calibre and creativity of their past work. Emulating typical fashion campaigns with a twist, the production centres around catwalk scenarios as seen in the likes of New York and Paris - only this time, the runway is marked by traffic cones, road signs, and zebra crossings. In lieu of spotlights, car headlights illuminate the space, interacting with the reflective garments to showcase their full high-visibility potential. The campaign will feature across AV, VOD, Social, Digital, OOH, PR, and Influencer channels.
Matthew Adams Dolan comments: “My job as a fashion designer is all about reinventing ways for the world to see people through forward-thinking craftsmanship, exaggerating proportions and experimenting with silhouettes. It has been so much fun applying those same design principles to pets, creating pet puffers with oversized hoods, reflective trench coats with large folds, chunky knitted jumpers with reflective yarns, and even an iridescent rainbow doggy shirt.”
He adds: “These designs get to the crux of the project: ensuring that the issue, and pets on the roads, are noticed by more people. Pets are such an important part of our lives, and we should be doing whatever we can to keep them safe and enjoying life longer. Collaborating with Southern Cross Pet Insurance on something that will make a real difference has been such a special experience, and, who knows, maybe we'll follow it up with a VIS summer collection in the future.”
Shane Bradnick, CCO at TBWA\NZ, says: “Our idea was to combine Matthew’s signature oversized design features with retro reflective and iridescent materials to make pets physically unmissable to distracted drivers. As an agency of pet lovers, it’s a purpose that’s truly close to our hearts. It’s also been incredible to collaborate on such a global scale to create something so special, with Matthew based between Italy and New York, Southern Cross Pet Insurance and ourselves based in New Zealand, our creative team currently based in London, and fabric suppliers from all around the world.”
Anthony McPhail, general manager at Southern Cross Pet Insurance, adds: “We’d much rather help prevent beloved pets needing care with top-notch protective gear than have to treat a painful injury. I’m excited to see how Aotearoa (New Zealand) responds to VIS - The Road Safety Collection. We reckon it will help keep humans safe too, which can only be a good thing for pets, who want their bowls replenished by someone they love unconditionally.”
The campaign stars an 8 piece hero catwalk collection and a ready-to-wear day-to-night bandana range. From April 8th, New Zealanders can visit the Southern Cross site
to get their hands on one of these VIS bandanas and enter the draw to win one of five original garments. A bespoke piece designed by Matthew will also be up for auction on TradeMe in May, with all proceeds going to Pet Refuge.