Animal charities grow in campaign confidence


I’m not really an animal person. I had a hamster and a rabbit when I was growing up. Sally the hamster lasted a few years and Snowy the rabbit lasted a few days. Don’t ask!

But, with more than 16,000 endangered species threatened with extinction, wildlife charities are having to think outside the box to compete for money and attention.

There’s been a flurry of campaign launches and marketing pushes over the last few months, so I’ve pulled together a few of my favourites.

Eye of tiger 

The World Wide Fund for Nature has created a website that allows keen runners to put their skills to the test and race an Amur tiger.

The ‘Tiger Challenge’ connects to your running app, giving you the chance to go head-to-head in a time trial, before sharing the outcome on social media.

What’s the catch? If you can’t beat it, you’ve got to join it [the campaign] and donate.

This approach, appealing to people’s hobbies and interests first and foremost, means this fundraising strategy is a soft sell’.

Creative agency Hungry Boys has done a fab job in pulling the #Run4Tiger innovative site together, while driving the message home that there’s just 450 of these animals left in the world.

The tiger challenge

Free as the wind blows 

The Born Free Foundation has launched an advertising campaign prompting people to take action to save endangered animals. Nothing new there, but wait.

Using the thought provoking slogan ‘There’s no point saving the last elephant on earth‘, the out of home campaign – featuring across London – packs a punch thanks to WCRS.

With World Wildife Day (3rd March) around the corner, it’d be good to see how the charity capitalises on this by stretching its PR and marketing department (if it exists) to secure features, run adverts and host Twitter takeovers on the day to educate people on why urgent action is required.

There's no point

But first, let me take a selfie

This is an oldie but a goodie, capitalising on the social media selfie trend.

At the end of last year, WWF Denmark and Turkey used Snapchat to invade people’s phones with endangered animals’ self-destructing last selfies.

Using the novelty social network to raise awareness, the charity put donations to one side in attempt to connect with the next generation of fundraisers.

The last selfie

Overall, it’s clear that although these  charities’ messages won’t change over time, the way they communicate it will. 

I’ll always question how much money is raised through TV ads asking me to adopt a rare snow leopard. Rather than blanket advertising, I believe that charities must identify their target audiences and tailor its asks accordingly. I also don’t think the ’emotional’ ask should always be relied on – it gets a little tiring at times. 

With charities each owning a bank of figures, research and future predictions, it’s time for them to face facts and truly sell the benefits of supporting. 

What do you think – will you be supporting as a result of these campaigns? 

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