PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, providing free and low-cost treatment to sick and injured pets and a learning programme for pet owners.

For a long time the charity had a very traditional direct marketing approach, due to an ageing supporter base, but in order to reach new audiences, PDSA needed to diversify its regular giving product mix and transform its digital offering.

We worked with creative agency DTV Group and the PDSA’s Weekly Lottery programme to successfully produce strong DRTV results and create an audience-led approach to digital lottery – moving from testing to an ‘always-on’ approach to digital, attracting younger audiences to take part in the charity’s weekly lottery and engage with PDSA long term.


40% improvement on required TV CPA

19% more lottery players generated in first year of campaign launch


DRTV was able to provide scale and create emotional engagement via a creative story (produced by DTV Group), whilst aligning the paid social activity with DRTV creating a stronger relevance to the proposition.

We used various insight tools and attribution modelling to identify core channels suitable for targeting our core audiences and identified paid social as the ideal support channel for the DRTV activity.

We adopted a granular approach to DRTV, where specific contextually relevant spots were selected alongside core audience channels. By using a continuous test and learn approach, we identified which stations performed well and could be used in the next campaign burst. Initially, we had two pieces of creative, one 60 second ad and one slightly shorter 40 second creative. We found that the 60 second piece worked better as it had a stronger response rate and cost per player, so used this learning to run across all stations with the 60 second copy only.

Paid Social allowed us to target, test and optimise quickly and efficiently, and our audience approach was focussed to include those that would otherwise not be included when delivering for a regular giving product. Audience groups live from the start of the campaign performed well (those interested in gaming or animal brands/charities) but in order to reach new prospects we expanded out our audiences – introducing connection groups, custom intent audiences and utilising video viewers. All of which had the potential to bring in scale and performance to the campaign.

Our continual learning and optimisation approach also meant that we looked at performance from a media and macro perspective, delivering ads at a time of day and day of week when people would be most likely to play the lottery. We also down weighted activity during key external days such as before payday, which minimised the effect on the campaign KPIs.


The test campaign worked so well that it became an ‘always-on’ approach and diversified the regular giving product range. We were able to reach a number of new audiences for PDSA, expanding the scale of the programme by 19%.

40% improvement on required TV CPA – which has led to an increase in TV activity.

As a result of the campaign, PDSA are now including new audiences throughout the year as standard. This helps to raise awareness to a fresh set of potential people and to prevent existing audiences from tiring from retargeting advertisements.

What they’re saying

“We have enjoyed working collaboratively with Medialab, they have successfully introduced a continual test and learn programme to optimise results for both DRTV and paid social. To mitigate risk, we planned three waves of the campaign to ensure results were in line with forecast however a really strong performance in the first wave meant we increased our investment into the other two and are delighted that we have expanded our product portfolio, audience reach and longer term income.”

Gill WhiteDonor Strategy Manager