Rhino Rescue Project Case study Saving Africas Last Wild Rhinos, By Poisoning Them. by Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam

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Saving Africas Last Wild Rhinos, By Poisoning Them.

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers, Environmental & Animal Issues
Media Case study
Market Vietnam
Agency Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam
Associate Creative Director Len Cheeseman, Bj Galinato, Joe Harris, Huy Anh Lee, Huy Anh Le, Gill Clark, Bonnie Tram Nguyen
Creative Director Adrian Mcnamara, Henry Gaunt
Art Director Len Cheeseman, Todd Mccracken, Joe Harris, Huy Anh Le, Hoang Sa Nguyen
Copywriter Malcolm Pryce, Todd Mccracken, Bianca De Silva, Craig Love
Designer My Hang Nguyen
Editor Thanh Ngo
Released March 2016

Awards

Cannes Lions 2016
Direct Sectors: Charities & Appeals Silver Lion
PR Practices & Specialisms: Media Relations Bronze Lion

Credits & Description

Agency: Rhino Rescue Project, Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam
Brand: Rhino Rescue Project
Country: Vietnam
Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City
Entrant Company: Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City
Media Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City
Pr Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City
Production Company: Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City
Creative Director: Henry Gaunt (The Visual Asylum)
Account Executive: Dang Pham (Social @ Ogilvy Vietnam)
Head Of Content & Media Relations: Hoai Nam (Social @ Ogilvy Vietnam)
Graphic Designer: Phu Hai (Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam)
Ux Consultant: Thai Binh Duong (Ogilvy One Vietnam)
Associate Creative Director: Bj Galinato (Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam)
Associate Creative Director: Huy Anh Lee (Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam)
Editor: Thanh Ngo (Freelance)
Creative Director: Adrian Mcnamara (Ogilvy One Vietnam)
Designer: My Hang Nguyen (Ogilvy One Vietnam)
Creative Director: Bianca De Silva (Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam)
Art Director: Sa Hoang (Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam)
Chief Creative Officer: Todd Mccracken (Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam)
Copywriter: Craig Love (Ogilvy & Mather Vietnam)
Co-Founder: Lorinda Hern (Rhino Rescue Project)
Head Of Social: An Ha (Social @ Ogilvy Vietnam)
Campaign Description:
We understood the unfortunate reality that Vietnamese rhino horn consumers cared little for an endangered species, or the scientific fact rhino horn is identical to human fingernails. We realised their increasing consumption was based purely on perceived personal benefit. OUR IDEA WAS TO DEVALUE RHINO HORN BY TURNING IT FROM A ‘PRICELESS’ STATUS SYMBOL INTO WORTHLESS POISON. We collaborated with Dr. Lorinda Hern of Rhino Rescue Project to infuse South African rhino horns with a pyrethroid-based solution that’s harmless to rhinos – but if consumed by humans can induce nausea, vomiting, paralysis and potentially death. Public health warnings were simultaneously launched to ensure every poacher, trader and buyer knew of the risks: Via a press conference that directly connected Vietnamese media to the horn treatments happening real-time in South Africa, and by plastering warnings throughout Vietnam. We also rallied the international community for donations to extend the horn treatment program.
Outcome:
Our campaign proved controversial: Within a week of launch our website had been hacked and the socialist Government tried to ban our campaign, labelling it ‘divisive’. Yet with no media spend, we’d already gained over 90 earned national articles with an estimated value of USD $130,000, and also attracted international attention. (While perhaps not significant compared to democratic countries, this result represented the most unpaid exposure any non-Government story has received in recent Vietnamese history.)Bowing to public pressure, the Government (and local NGOs) soon joined us with their own campaigns educating against rhino horn consumption. Since our campaign began… 600 traditional medicine practitioners signed a pledge against using rhino horn (T5G – National Center for Health Communication and Education). And most importantly… fewer than 2% of treated rhinos have been poached (Dr. L. Hern, 2015) and Vietnam’s rhino horn consumption has since declined by 77% (Tuoi Tre Media, 2015)
Synopsis:
In Vietnam, rhino horn has been valued for its supposed curative properties for hundreds of years. But as rhino populations have become increasingly endangered, so too has the price of illegal rhino horn risen even higher than that of cocaine or gold. Yet this has only added to its appeal with Vietnam’s growing newly rich, who also use it show off their high social status – and which has directly resulted in Vietnam being identified as the driving force behind illegal rhino poaching in South Africa.With minimal budget, we needed to break through Vietnam’s deep-rooted cultural beliefs and corruption (many high-ranking government officials are allegedly illegal rhino horn users themselves), in order to:-Change the perception rhino horn has health benefits-Lower purchase intention -Gather media support with no media budget at all-Pressure the Government to toughen its act against Vietnam’s rhino horn trade
Strategy:
We faced a multi-faceted strategic challenge, targeting not only the general Vietnamese public to challenge their longstanding cultural beliefs – but also those wealthy, powerful individuals and organisations (such as high-ranking members of the conservative socialist government, celebrities and respected CEOs), who were allegedly all illegal rhino horn consumers themselves.Due to this extreme sensitivity of the issue within Vietnam, we conducted campaign research by seeking out and speaking ‘off the record’ with private Vietnamese NGOs and conservation experts, and also combining this information with globally recognised rhino horn consumption data to form our strategy and approach: TO USE THE POWER OF INDEPENDENT MEDIA TO DEBUNK THE DEEP-ROOTED CULTURAL MYTH OF RHINO HORN’S SUPPOSED HEALTH BENEFITS AND ITS VALUE AS A STATUS SYMBOL, BY PROVING POISONED RHINO HORN WAS NOW A DANGEROUS HEALTH HAZARD.
Execution:
We used the poisoned rhino horns themselves as a tactic to directly influence national consumer behaviour against consumption.Launching in April 2015 and with no media budget at all, we held an innovative Q&A press conference that allowed Vietnamese media to view the poisoning treatments happening real-time in South Africa, and have their questions answered live and direct by Dr. Hern.Simultaneously, we plastered economical yet culturally effective ‘guerilla-style’ health warnings in targeted outdoor locations across Vietnam. While in online, we used targeted social media to further spread the message, and created the hashtag #cuutegiac (save the rhinos) as a more consumer-friendly way to allow the entire nation to get involved with activities of support.Finally, we created a series of multi-lingual, educational print and digital collateral. These were also used to support crowdfunding activities that rallied the international community for donations to extend the horn treatment program.