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