From ivory to shark fins, Chinese demand for “luxury” animal parts has been wreaking havoc on endangered and threatened species across the globe. To fight the mindset that drives sales of these items, a growing number of Chinese celebrities have been using their star power to take a stand speak out against them.
The latest campaign to do this features movie star Li Bingbing and several other celebrities teaming up to discourage the purchase of rhino horns, which are believed in China to have medicinal properties and sell for an estimated US$60,000 a pound.
Created by OgilvyOne Beijing in cooperation with China conservation organization WildAid, the newly launched pro-bono campaign entitled “Nail Biters” utilizes a cross-platform strategy to promote the message that rhino horns are made up of nothing more than keratin, the same protein that human fingernails are made of.
To convey this point, the firms have created several ads featuring Li and other stars biting their nails with a message stating, “rhino horn has nothing your own nails don’t have.” In addition to Li (who also campaigns for elephant conservation), the ads feature actors/pop stars Cheng Kun and Jing Boran, photographer Chen Man, businessman Richard Branson, and actress Maggie Q.
“We believe that constant and diverse awareness campaigns can drive down the value of rhino horn and can help end the rampant poaching of rhinos,” says WildAid China Chief Representative May Mei. “We’re launching Nail Biters to help achieve this. As we’ve seen in the past, once we can reduce the demand for rhino horn, the numbers of wild rhinos will increase again. Because when the buying stops, the killing can too.”
The firm has also created a social media campaign to go with the images, utilizing celebrities and key opinion leaders (KOLs) to spread the message on Weibo and WeChat. On Weibo, the stars will distribute nail-biting pictures with the hashtag “#Eat your nails, not rhino horn# (#啃指甲救犀牛#),” which will appear on a specially created topic page. In addition, OgilvyOne Beijing created an H5 on WeChat which allows users to copy the celebrities and create their own “nail-biting” posters with selfies, which they can post with an invitation for friends to participate.
“We wanted to find a disarming way to get to the core of the rhino horn myth via A-list celebrities, who’d normally be dead against being seen biting their nails,” says Executive Creative Director of OgilvyOne China Doug Schiff. “We were also able to harness our digital and social expertise to further engage and involve both fans of the celebrities and those interested in the cause. By effectively changing the conversation toward the root of rhino horn consumption, we can hopefully play a role in saving this magnificent species.”
WildAid is known for its previous campaigns against rhino horns, shark fins, pangolins, ivory, and more using superstars including Jackie Chan, Yao Ming, and Zhang Ziyi.
See the rest of the ads here: