WildAid Gets Angry with Wildlife Traffickers

WildAid has created a social media campaign based on its slogan “When the buying stops, the killing can too.” Image as originally published by Branding in Asia.

Asia AD Junkie, Branding in Asia | March 2, 2021

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Tomorrow is World Wildlife Day and WildAid has launched a new campaign highlighting the threats facing a number of endangered species.

Created pro bono by BBDO Bangkok, the social media campaign features silhouetted elephants, rhinos, sharks, tigers and helmeted hornbills being sliced apart for the wildlife trafficking trade.

Tusks are chopped apart, horns sliced in two, fins cut clear off, teeth slashed and heads of hornbills hacked clean. Where each animal has been dismembered an unhappy emoji peers out. It’s a clever little campaign, subtle but powerful, that calls on the public to refuse wildlife products and report crimes against endangered animals.

Like many markets, trade in wildlife and wildlife products is shifting online. TRAFFIC’s monitoring of 31 websites and e-commerce platforms in China between 2012 and 2016 found ivory was the most-advertised wildlife product (60%), while rhino horns and associated products were the second most-traded products (20%).

A more recent study in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam recorded 2,489 ivory items for sale in 545 posts on social media platforms over the span of just five days in July 2019.

The campaign was developed based on WildAid’s slogan “When the buying stops, the killing can too,” with an aim to encourage people to react against any wildlife trade on their social media channels, putting social pressure on those who are consuming or selling wildlife products.

“WildAid’s campaigns are designed keeping in mind cultural and consumer insights, and the latest trends for maximum impact. As a result, there have been significant drops in prices and consumption of endangered species products, such as ivory, rhino horn and shark fin,” said John Baker, Chief Program Officer at WildAid. “We hope that these ads will continue to help increase unacceptability of trading and posting wildlife products online, as well as offline.”

The United Nations estimates that global illegal wildlife trade is worth between $7 and $23 billion a year, making it the fourth-largest illicit trade after arms, drugs and human trafficking. The trade puts not only biodiversity and endangered species at risk, but also our health and economies, as highlighted by the recent COVID-19 outbreak which likely emerged from a live animal market.

The campaign was developed based on WildAid’s slogan “When the buying stops, the killing can too,” with an aim to encourage people to react against any wildlife trade on their social media channels, putting social pressure on those who are consuming or selling wildlife products.

“We are proud to support WildAid in its fight to help protect endangered wildlife,” said Somkiat Larptanunchaiwong, CEO at BBDO Bangkok.

“BBDO Bangkok is deeply concerned by the depletion of wildlife populations worldwide and the trade of products, such as elephant ivory, rhino horn, shark fin and tiger parts. With this hard-hitting advertisement developed for WildAid, we are confident that our efforts can have an impact on ending consumer consumption behaviors that threaten our planet’s biodiversity.”

The series of advertisements will be launched through WildAid’s platforms in the U.S, Hong Kong and Thailand.

“Every small action matters! #ReactAgainstWildlifeTrade every time you see wildlife products on your social media,” added Anuwat Nitipanont, Chief Creative Officer at BBDO Bangkok.