THE PROVERBIALS, Newcastle / ANIMALS ASIA / 2016
Bears do not figure prominently in our day-to-day lives, and next to no-one has heard of a moon bear. In fact, one of the only times we really think of bears at all is when we use the common expression of affirmation, ‘Does a bear shit in the woods?’. The irony is, in the case of moon bears, the answer to this supposedly rhetorical question is ‘NO!’ - A bear does NOT shit in the woods when it is kept in a cage its whole life and painfully ‘milked’ for its bile.
So we turned the expression into a call to action, and created the ‘LET A BEAR SH!T IN THE WOODS’ campaign.
We sent campaign T-shirts and information booklets to all our celebrity supporters in advance of campaign launch, and coordinated a staggered rollout of posts.
They were sharing posts, uploading photos of themselves in the campaign t-shirts to Instagram, twitter and facebook, and directing their followers to the campaign webpage, where they could take the pledge to help end bear bile farming, buy the t-shirt and make donations to Animals Asia.
The campaign took on a life of its own, and really hit its peak in May 2015, when rock photographer Kat Benzova and Director Shaina Danziger released a short film and photographic campaign starring Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Anthony Kiedis, Matt Lucas, Simon Le Bon, Moby, Duff McKagan and Steve-O that was featured in Italian Vogue, New York Daily News and Rolling Stone.
With absolutely no paid media or paid endorsements, we reached an audience of over 40 million, scored tens of thousands of shares and pledges and generated over $1million in earned media, as well as raising money through donations and t-shirt sales to fund the vital work of Animals Asia at their bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam.
The database collected through the campaign at bearinthewoods.org allowed us to effectively fundraise through follow-up email campaigns to a whole new audience.
The increased awareness and support of Animals Asia has helped secure real action – Vietnam’s Traditional Medicine Association has agreed to stop using bear bile by 2020.
With one little phrase, we have been able to galvanize support of celebrities, raise awareness of the suffering, and continue the movement to end the cruelty, and let a bear shit in the woods.
LEO BURNETT FRANKFURT, Frankfurt
2017, REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS
GRUPO GALLEGOS, Huntington Beach
2014, ALZHEIMER'S ASSOCIATION
DRAFTFCB + SHIMONI FINKELSTEIN BARKI, Tel Aviv
2011, FRIENDS OF THE SWIFTS NPO