USAID — Partners Promo, Case study SEA TURTLE EGGS CAMPAIGN by La Clinica\TBWA San Salvador

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Industry Environmental & Animal Issues
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market El Salvador
Agency La Clinica\TBWA San Salvador
Director Wendy Monterrosa, Carlos Roberto Rivas
Creative Director Javier Zedán
Producer Andres Diaz
Photographer Joe Escobar
Released July 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Ambient Media: Small Scale
Date of First Appearance: Jul 1 2010
Entrant Company: LA CLINICA \ TBWA, San Salvador, EL SALVADOR
General Creative Director: Juan Carlos Mejía Corleto (La Clinica \ TBWA)
Creative Director: Javier Zedán (La Clinica \ TBWA)
President: Luis Landaverde (La Clinica \ TBWA)
Account Executive: Kathia Gómez (La Clinica \ TBWA)
Biological Diversity Regional Specialist: Carlos Hasbún (USAID)
Program Director: Enriqueta Ramirez (USAID)
Communications Specialist: Adriana del Cid (USAID)
Program General Director: Martha Lilian Quezada (USAID)
Sub-Secretary: Linda Pohl (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente)
Director: Wendy Monterrosa (Cherry Top)
Latin American President: Gerard Govaerts (TBWA \ Miami)
TBWA Worldwide Creative Director: John Hunt (TBWA \ Hunt \ Lascaris)
Producer: Andres Diaz (Optico Films)
Director: Carlos Roberto Rivas (Gron Communication)
Chief Executive: Ana María de Celarie (Imagen Films)
Photographer: Joe Escobar (Icon Creativos)
Media placement: Imprinted Ping Pong Balls - Street Activation - Streets And Restaurants - July 1st 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
4 of the 6 sea turtle species still inhabiting in our planet lay their eggs in El Salvador coasts, all at great risk of extinction. For generations, Salvadoreans ate their eggs. The great demand caused such level of depredation that the Government had to pass a law to prohibit the sale of turtle eggs. The law had great acceptance among the population but authorities had other priorities and demand continued, originating a clandestine market.
Our objective was to reduce the consumption of sea turtle eggs as the only way to protect the species from extinction. Before it was illegal, the vendors sold the eggs still covered in sand in order to show their freshness. Now they hide them among shellfish. Our idea was to fool those who tried to fool the law. We wanted to create conservationist conscious Salvadoreans to help the law prevail, assisting the police to find traffickers.

Creative Execution
We produced our own version of turtle eggs. We disguised ping pong balls with sand and imprinted different messages. Fake vendors offered them openly in the same way real vendors did before the prohibition. They called people’s attention to the actual black market selling points. Unconscious consumers received ping pong balls covered in sand with direct messages when trying to purchase in the streets, getting a moral sanction. Their interest in buying decreased to avoid public shame. When somebody wanted to buy turtle eggs at restaurants, they were served with ping pong balls containing the campaign message. The key strategy was to take advantage of the conservationist consciousness of a big part of the population to make them help the police identifying the black market selling points after noticing our fake vendors. The police call center received several complaints and went after the real vendors.

Results and Effectiveness
Clandestine points of sale were eliminated, traffickers were captured and important egg amounts were seized. Consumers looking for eggs don't know where to find them anymore. With a $14,690 USD budget, consumption was reduced by 68% in 3 weeks, something the law could not achieve after two years of being enacted. Those who previously sacked nests became coast guards, incubating eggs in sponsored nurseries.

More than one million baby turtles have been released since the activation started.

Aware of the campaign, worldwide noted ocean conservationists Fabian Cousteau and Wallace Nichols created in El Salvador “Billion Baby Turtles Project”, a fundraising movement.