Global Brief: JWT takes Taiwanese to task

The latest ads for animal charity, Tusk Force, show no mercy, Mairi Clark says.

The latest ads for animal charity, Tusk Force, show no mercy, Mairi

Clark says.

It has become almost compulsory for animal charity advertising to shock

its audiences so severely that they hand over cash, boycott the

offending goods, or at the very least, feel incredibly guilty.

The latest campaign for Tusk Force, the endangered species charity, goes

one step further and targets the people who actually execute the


Although the films are being shown mainly in Taiwan and are aimed at the

Taiwanese, they were created by J. Walter Thompson in the UK.

For those who think it strange that a UK agency is being used to create

a campaign for a foreign market such as Taiwan, they only need examine

what the campaign is trying to stop. Endangered species are killed not

only to make luxury goods, but also for medicines. In Taiwan, Chinese

medicine is so entrenched in the culture that it was deemed necessary to

use an agency totally alien to its ways.

The five films were created from real-life footage, supplied by Tusk

Force. Viewers are shown a turtle, tiger, elephant, rhino and bear being

subjected to horrifying torture. ’Turtle’ features an adult turtle

having it’s shell sawn off while it’s still alive. ’Tiger’ takes the

viewer on a guided tour around tiger bone-crushing machinery. ’Elephant’

shows scenes of poachers killing each other. ’Rhino’ depicts a live

adult rhino having her horn hacked off.

David Kinnear, the JWT associate director, worked with the creative team

that devised the campaign. He explains: ’You can see Westernised shock

tactics in the ads. Had the ads been created in Taiwan, they wouldn’t

have been so shocking. A lot of Chinese medicines work, so we need to

show users there is an alternative and that the way the medicine is

produced is not worth it.’

The Taiwanese are used to shocking images. However, research has shown

even the most hardened viewers are not immune to the final film - ’bear’

- which contains footage of live bears being torn apart and having their

paws hacked off. Western outrage put to good use.

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