Advertising works, and WildAid is using it to change public perception about rhino horn in Vietnam and China. Richard Branson has joined with Asian #Celebrities such as singer and actor Jing Boran to get the message across that rhinos are dying for their horns.
The campaign is aimed at letting people know that owning and using rhino horn is just not cool these days. The campaign is being run under the tag of “Nail Biters," to highlight the point that human nails and rhino horn share the same characteristics, and are of no medical value at all.
Craig Sholley of the African Wildlife Foundation told the Christian Science Monitor that Branson’s message is about the fact that people who pay a fortune for rhino horn are just being “scammed.” Using techniques similar to the anti-smoking campaign which saw a worldwide reduction in the demand for tobacco, it's hoped that public awareness will reduce the demand for rhino horn.
Taiwan, the USA, and Europe have seen a huge fall in demand for rhino horn through similar campaign targeting. It is hoped that positive results will emerge from China and Vietnam as celebrities set the bar on the product. During a campaign about ivory in Asia in 2012, which was followed up by a survey in 2014, it was found that public awareness of the plight of the elephants had increased by 50%. The surveys showed that Chinese perception and awareness of rhino horn had increased by 52%.
Education and awareness that elephants and rhinos are being slaughtered and are on the path to extinction is an important message. The campaign is, therefore, a big part of the fight to save Africa’s endangered species. If the demand can be reduced, prices will fall and hopefully, fewer poachers will feel it a profitable exercise to risk their lives poaching animals.
Due to efforts by Hong Kong, China, and the USA, along with similar campaigns, the price of ivory has dropped by half in recent months. It is hoped that horrific images of rhinos, coupled with celebrities will reach the people psychologically. Winning minds for the war for rhino is a priority. Whether the rhino horn is sourced legally or illegally is irrespective. If the will to purchase the product does not go away through campaigning, the product will always remain in high demand. #News #Buzz