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JWT and MPC urge us to become Tiger Protectors for WWF UK

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WWF UK has brought the plight of wild tigers home in the latest emotional spot to hit screens during the festive season. Created by J. Walter Thompson London and called #iProtectTigers, the strategy moves away from the traditional “adopt a” mechanic where the charity protects the animal with money from donations and puts the power in the people’s hands by offering them the chance to do the protecting themselves as Tiger Protectors. WWF-UK’s touching ad launches at a critical time, less than one week from the mid-point of a 12-year global goal to double wild tiger numbers by 2022. The spot, directed by the award winning Martin Stirling and using CGI from MPC and with sound design by Chris Turner at Jungle, premiered over the weekend, and highlights the devastating impacts of the illegal wildlife trade. “Tiger in Suburbia” features a CGI wild tiger which appears in need of urgent care after being caught in a poacher’s snare. The family nurse the tiger back to health in their home before it disappears back into the forest, sending a message that we in the UK can help protect wild tigers. Viewers are then encouraged to sign up to be ‘Tiger Protectors’ as part of the integrated campaign.

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The launch, with media planning by ARM, also includes a personalised book for children by award winning kids author Jeanne Willis and illustrator Jenni Desmond, which will be sent to donators after they have made their contribution designed as a gift for children, the book can be fully personalised with the child’s name, gender, skin and hair colour. The parent role can also be personalised. Willis is the author of such titles as Chicken Clicking and the Penguin Pandemonium series and Desmond is the award winning creator of The Blue Whale. The pair have worked on a number of books together previously, including The First Slodge.

Kerry Blackstock, Director of Public Fundraising at WWF-UK, said: “During the last century over 95% of the world's wild tiger population has been lost, with as few as 3,200 estimated in 2010; an all-time low. Now their numbers have begun to increase, and we need to take this chance to secure their future. Protecting wild tigers and tackling the illegal wildlife trade is a topic close to the hearts of many people here in the UK. This advert acts as a stark reminder that although we may feel a million miles away from this issue, we can help. We can make a difference. This Christmas campaign is a first for WWF-UK, using the power and magic of CGI to illustrate the plight of this endangered species.” Jasper Shelbourne, Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson London, added: “By making people Tiger Protectors we are bringing the audience much closer to the action, something manifested in the book, film and print. And there is something uniquely engaging about a 700lb Tiger in a small bedroom in suburbia.”

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WWF-UK’s #iProtectTigers campaign is part of the wider Tx2 goal to double the number of wild tigers by 2022. By donating £5 a month to become a ‘Tiger Protector,’ supporters can receive a personalised storybook along with updates throughout the year. In 2010, governments of the 13 tiger range countries, together with organisations including WWF, set an ambitious and visionary conservation goal, to double the number of wild tigers by 2022; the next Chinese year of the tiger. This goal is called Tx2. Earlier this year conservationists worldwide celebrated a small victory as global wild tiger numbers were reported to have increased for the first time in conservation history. Yet with only around 3,900 tigers left in the wild, it is vital efforts are increased. NGOs, governments and local communities must build on this momentum to secure and increase wild tiger populations across Asian tiger range states.

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