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An Awards Gala Decked Out to Honor Hero Dogs

Gala with blue and yellow branded American Humane Hero Dog Awards signage

The American Humane Hero Dog Awards® seeks out America’s Hero Dogs and their owners, putting them in the spotlight and honoring their accomplishments at the annual Hero Dog Awards Gala. These dogs have accomplished feats like helping law enforcement keep communities safe, beating the odds after their adoption from a shelter, and providing help for humans with disabilities.

In 2023, American Humane entered AlphaGraphics’ Make It Happen Event Makeover contest in hopes of winning a $20,000 makeover for the 13th annual Hero Dog Awards Gala. Out of more than 700 entries, American Humane was selected as one of three winners! 

Watch to see the transformation of the Hero Dogs Awards Gala.

The Opportunity

The dogs recognized at the Hero Dog Awards Gala have made an important difference in the lives they’ve touched. As such, the gala aims to show these heroes a great time and provide them with proper recognition.

The Hero Dog Awards Gala is American Humane’s biggest fundraising event, and in 2023, they were hosting the gala at an exciting new location – the famous Palm Beach hotel, The Breakers. With the new venue, American Humane wanted to host the most elegant Hero Dog Awards Gala yet. After all, these special canines and their owners deserved it.

In addition to ramping up the caliber of the event overall, American Humane wanted to increase awareness about the Hero Dog Awards’ mission. While American Humane is a household name, their Hero Dog Awards are less well-known. Above all, the top priority was to provide an incredible experience for the hero dogs and their owners.

The Strategy

With $20,000 of signage work to donate, AlphaGraphics quickly got to work with the American Humane team to strategize about making the event more glamorous than ever to honor the heroes, all while communicating their important cause.

Elevate the Branding

The refreshed design for the event pulled inspiration from the new beach location, the hotel’s 1920s origins, and the classic American Humane Hero Dog Awards branding. The result was a tropical yet sophisticated theme that maintained certain evergreen elements of the Hero Dog Awards. The consistency achieved in all touches, big and small, boosted brand recognition and made the event memorable.

Blue programs branded with American Hero Dog Awards brand refresh

Print materials like programs, menus, and table tents reflected the refreshed brand.

Blue and gold signage highlighting a hero dog

Sweeping signage included tropical colors and art-deco graphics.

Make the Dogs (and Their Owners) the Stars

American Humane wanted the hero dogs and their owners to feel honored and appreciated for the great work they’ve done. With signage featuring them and ample Hollywood-inspired photoshoot opportunities, the hero dogs and their owners took center stage.

A woman in a wheelchair next to a small dog on a red carpet with gold stars and in front of a backdrop with sponsor logos.

A step-and-repeat recognizing sponsors paired with the red carpet adorned with stars for the dogs was the perfect spot for paw-parazzi photos.

A large blue background that says

A VIP section dubbed the “Barking Lot” was the perfect spot for the dogs to relax after their moment in the spotlight.

Increase Awareness

With signage showcasing the hero dog categories and highlighting the purpose of the Hero Dog Awards, the mission and meaning of the event was woven throughout. This brought an emotional element to the event and subtly inspired increased support from the guests. Promo items kept the conversation going after the event had passed.

Blue and yellow signage shows a Hero Dog finalist, the Hero Dog hall-of-fame, and the categories for the awards.

Guests mingled among signage celebrating hero dog finalists.

Blue signage at the entrance of the gala displays the gala's mission.

Signage celebrating the purpose behind the event was placed prominently at its entrance and throughout the venue.

A cardboard dog wearing a branded bandana, next to a branded water bowl.

Promo items like dog bandanas and water bowls were given to canine guests.

The Results

The 13th annual Hero Dog Awards Gala was American Humane’s most elegant event yet, and the brand and mission were made more prominent. The hero dogs and their owners got their deserved moment in the spotlight after working tirelessly behind-the-scenes to make communities safe, help people with disabilities, and rescue those in need. The Hollywood-inspired backdrops and floor graphics were a crowd-favorite and made for great photos.

AlphaGraphics was grateful to provide signage and print support for the Hero Dog Awards and honored to contribute to a worthy cause. Recognizing these furry heroes is something we will always stand behind.

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