Last week, an elephant was roaming the streets of London to create awareness of WWF’s stop wildlife trafficking campaign.
Before everyone thinks they are seeing pink elephants, the five-metre tall elephant that was caught wandering around London and causing a stir on social media was actually a projected hologram. Raising awareness of the illegal wildlife trade, WWF decided to confront the elephant in the room by putting the issue of wildlife trafficking unavoidably in the way of passing Londoners via the giant projection of an African elephant.
With the sight of a native elephant already out of place on London’s streets, WWF attempted to show the public that if they don’t act and sign their petition these elephants will only become a rarer sight. The aim was to gather enough attention and petition signatures before the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) conference in London between 11-12 October where world leaders discussed the issue of wildlife crime.
In addition to this, WWF installed ‘animal’ crossings covered in facts about endangered animals to get pedestrians to face reality and provoke a heartfelt response. This campaign, starting at St Pauls Cathedral, has travelled to locations such as Parliament and Abbey Road studios and has even been touring its way around the UK to gain national awareness of the #StopWildlifeTrafficking campaign.
Unsurprisingly, this PR stunt trumpeted a success for WWF by gaining thousands of signatures for their petition. This intelligent and brave use of technology to draw attention to an important issue is mammoth as it is both commanding and entertaining. The shock and unexpected nature of bringing this elephant ‘to life’ through technology – and on such a large scale – engages head-on with the public and creates an original type of ‘share-ability’, as who wouldn’t take a picture of an elephant in the road?
WWF’s innovative approach to technology integration to achieve awareness and provoke a high impact reaction has proven a bold, striking way to engage with the public and awaken them to the brutal reality of illegal wildlife trade.
Although it may not be easy, or cheap to create that PR stunt that’s going to get everyone talking, this WWF stunt has shown us how the results of a visual, clever and original spectacle can work wonders for achieving results.
What did you think of WWF’s stunt, and did you manage to spot the Elephant anywhere? Let us know, tweet us @NeoPRLtd.