Most marketing campaigns come out of weeks, months or sometimes years of strategizing, planning and testing. Not so with the Show Your Soft Side campaign – it was borne out of a single moment of anger.
In late 2010, Baltimore was beset by one horrific case of animal abuse after another. A nursing cat was set on fire by two 13-year-olds, a gang of kids clubbed a young puppy to death in a public park, and two teens were charged with dousing a dog, later named Phoenix, in kerosene and then setting her on fire. Those hideous events turned out to be a defining moment for three women and one talented photographer in Baltimore, and Show Your Soft Side was born.
Originally envisioned to be a few posters in City schools, the campaign captured the attention of the media and was soon being shared in households from Baltimore to Brazil, and beyond. Incorporated as a non-profit in 2013, SYSS is run entirely by volunteers with the goal of ending animal abuse before it starts and generating support for the world’s animal rescue community.