Hard-hitting animal rights ads: MiC’s Global Tour

Jungle Media's Sheri Metcalfe weighs in on print ads from Wildlife Friend Foundation, Conservation International and PETA.

When it comes to animal rights campaigns the mantra tends to be “go extreme or go home.” In this edition of the MiC Global Tour, we take a look at organizations that have followed this with their most recent print executions. Our tour starts in Thailand, where Wildlife Friend Foundation has launched a brutal campaign decrying the buying and selling of animal horns, tusks and antlers. From there, we go to Brazil where Conservation International is running a campaign against animal captivity. We end our tour in the US with the most recent work from PETA, which calls out fur and skin buyers.

Here’s what Sheri Metcalfe, VP and co-managing director, Jungle Media had to say about these animal rights advocacy ads.

Thailand: Wildlife Friend Foundation takes animal rights promotion by the tusks

With its latest effort, Wildlife Friend Foundation is looking to shut down the lucrative animal horn, tusk and antler trade with a series of three print ads that feature an elephant, a rhino and a deer. In each ad the animal has been killed, and had its respective appendage removed. The deer ad reads: “Antlers are not created to kill deer. Stop buying. Stop supporting. Stop killing.”

SM: I applaud the print concepts from Wildlife Friend Foundation of Thailand in their extremely graphic approach. The question is – are we desensitized to this sort of image or will it eventually make us revisit our behaviour?

Brazil: Conservation International shines light on animal captivity

The conditions of farm animals kept in captivity aren’t unfamiliar to the general public. Conservation International’s latest campaign, however, turns the idea of animal captivity on its head for added shock value. Sensing that the public had become desensitized to the usual images of cows, chickens and pigs, the organization swapped them out for tropical birds, pandas and anteaters to help promote the idea that something is wrong.

SM: I recently saw a similar news item on how pigs are treated in captivity here in Canada and it was disturbing. The print concepts used by Conservation International are a bit obtuse. I do understand where they are drawing from – the raw emotions that folks like me have about wild animals should ladder across to how we keep farm animals but I do find these ads a bit odd. Concept for me doesn’t really work.

US: PETA calls out fur and skin buyers

No stranger to controversy, PETA has ditched the ironic use of sexy models and is back with a new campaign that will roll out during New York’s Fashion Week in September. The new ads call out buyers of animal fur and skin products. The ads use the slogan “when you buy, you become part of it” and feature consumers on-site, almost taking part as animals are skinned.

SM: I sort of want to say “well duh.” Yes, it is more hard-hitting than the model campaign, but I do feel PETA will lose out on a lot of unpaid PR generated through using Hollywood actors, starlets and role models. Someone at PETA wanted to just show it like it is, but will the buzz around the organization decline as a result of this approach? I guess we will see.