We’re living in an ‘Information Age’ which makes achieving cut through for communications campaigns challenging. But every now and then I come across a campaign that really does stand head and shoulders above the rest. This week, it was the IFAW’s appeal for koala mittens that caught my attention.
If there’s one group of animals that has got it tough, it’s fair to say it’s the amphibians. Over the last decade populations across the globe have been decimated by an indiscriminate disease called chytrid fungus. And as if that wasn’t enough, a group of diseases wiping out amphibians in Spain has hit the headlines, as well as reports of a skin-eating fungus which is now threatening salamanders and newts in Europe. Ironically, the skin-eating variety is thought to have come from Asia and been spread by the exotic pet trade. It turns out that our love for amphibians is actually what’s killing them.
When we communicate a message, we ideally want to inspire some form of action. But getting people to act is difficult. Campaigners often try to shock people into leaping up from their sofas. But lately it seems that we have become somewhat shockproof. Could ‘doomsday’ messages be to blame? And is it about time that we delivered some good news?