The pandemic lockdown has inspired a new campaign from WWF NZ, Colenso BBDO and Hearts and Science to raise awareness and funds to restore the balance between people and nature which includes putting a stop to the illegal wildlife trade.
There are about 5,000 tigers in captivity in the US alone, while only an estimated 3,200 tigers remain in the wild. The popularity of Netflix’s Tiger King brought to light some of the truths about the illegal tiger trade.
If they’re lucky enough to grow past the “cute cub photo opportunity phase”, tigers bred in captivity can spend up to 22 years in a state of lockdown.
Numerous studies reveal that a life in captivity leads to severe psychological stress, infertility, and various other health conditions.
But the problem is bigger than Joe Exotic and tigers.
Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand CEO, says the tactical campaign launches the platform, Restore the Balance, to educate Kiwis on just how reliant we are on nature.
"Over the past few decades, humans have come into closer contact with wildlife," says Esterhazy.
"This is now occurring at an unprecedented scale thanks to deforestation and habitat destruction, the illegal wildlife trade and
high-risk food markets.
"This is creating the conditions that allow diseases that pass from animals to humans to become ever more common. The COVID-19 lockdown was the perfect time to start talking about this issue and engaging Kiwis to help us restore the balance with nature.”
The campaign consists of large format out-of-home (OOH) depicting images of caged tigers and social posts featuring shaky footage from Tiger-King-esque establishments.
Nick Worthington, creative chairman Colenso BBDO: “We wanted to remind Kiwis that not everyone leaves their lockdown. While, thankfully, we don’t have an illegal tiger trade in New Zealand, Kiwis can still be part of the solution by simply donating to WWF.”
Megan Smith, chief client officer at Hearts & Science: “Netflix first brought the story of the illegal tiger trade into NZ’ers homes, and now as we are able to leave our captivity, H&S and our OOH media partners (Go Media Limited, JCDecaux and QMS Media) have taken the opportunity to reinforce that the end isn’t in sight for these tigers - showing the stark reality on large format DOOH across the country.”
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