Yesterday the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Grey Group ad agencies '41?29! Media Internet' and 'Uncle Grey' (based in Turkey and Denmark respectively) launched a brand new campaign, which aims to raise public awareness regarding endangered species. The campaign focuses on animals which the vast majority of the general public most likely don't even know are endangered, with ads focusing on polar bears, pandas, orangutans, rhinos and tigers, all of which are becoming seriously threatened as the Arctic icecaps continue to melt at an alarming speed.
The campaign attempts to help young Snapchat users empathise with endangered species
The campaign, which will run in both Turkey and Denmark, has been designed to reach and affect young people, making them more aware of endangered species, and more likely to act. To do this, WWF is using popular smartphone and tablet based picture messaging service 'Snapchat', an app which is particular popular amongst young teenagers. The ads attempt to help young Snapchat users empathise with endangered species by comparing the fleeting existence of a Snapchat post (pictures and videos can only be viewed for around 10 seconds before they disappear) to the very real threat of extinction facing so many endangered species across the world.
Images sent via Snapchat can't be saved by the receiver, and as they can only be glimpsed for a few precious seconds, a Snapchat message is just like a real life moment, and the campaign reflects the fact that these moments are fleeting at best for many of the planets most at risk creatures. Together with the two Grey agencies, WWF has created a series of 'selfies' (a very modern phenomenon(, which show an endangered animal in close-up with the harrowing #LastSelfie hashtag. These 'selfies' are expected to be spread by young users through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, with the underlying message being that if we don't do something about this, spread the word and take action, these beautiful creatures will disappear for real, and forever.
The animal's 'selfies' are expected to be spread by young users through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
Anyone is free to join the campaign by following the official WWF Snapchat accounts linked to WWF Turkey and WWF Denmark ('wwf_turkiye' and 'wwf_dk' respectively). Once they are signed up, they will start receiving posts which they can share amongst their friends and help directly by supporting the WWF via their official website.
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer, musician and animal lover form the UK. He has always supported the WWF, and was genuinely moved by the material he came across whilst researching this piece.