WWF uses an African elephant roaming around London to highlight wildlife trafficking

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The Background

With the exception of adorable puppies, I’m not really one for wildlife. Otters are cute too I suppose. 

However, when an elephant starts gallivanting around the streets of London, as it did this month, even my animal-ambivalence subsided.

The Big Idea

Now this neo-Nelly wasn’t quite the real deal, but yes, one of those darn clever holograms, let loose by none other than the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The stunt (are we still allowed to use this word?) – OK, the “creative moment” – was aimed to raise awareness about animal trafficking and encourage the public to sign a petition to bring an end to crime against wildlife.

In fact, this particular campaign hopes to achieve 100,000+ signatures on its petition that calls on the British government to end illegal wildlife trafficking.

What They Did

Now on the surface it may appear like a pretty straightforward concept – insanely simple if anything – but the combination of solid technology, investment in a proper experience and a clear narrative puts the PR in PoweRful (urgh – I know, I upset myself sometimes).

Truth be told, WWF doesn’t really do stunts per se. It creates these beautiful, memorable moments to front a much more intricate campaign of policy, petitions and protection of the natural world. 

But when it comes to complex campaigning, not every moment needs to be complex.

The Review

Despite increasing awareness and concern over wildlife endangerment, trafficking is still a lucrative criminal global activity that continues to grow year-on-year. And it’s pretty repulsive. In recent months certain legislative moves have slowed down the animal emancipation cause.

In an attempt to overcome an ‘out of sight, out of mind' mentality, WWF decided to bring endangered wildlife directly to London, in order to get the public to come face to face with reality. Although a non-native elephant may seem out of place in central London, the elephant acts as a stark reminder that this species may become an even rarer sight globally.

In Hindsight

In addition to the elephant, the WWF has also designed a number of pedestrian crossings with animal prints (not real either I trust) reflecting those most harmed by the trade, including marine turtles, snow leopards and tigers.

I may not love animals, but I adore this work.

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Kev O’Sullivan

Kev O’Sullivan

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