Paws for thought

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.

Koala wearing mittens to protect its burnt paws. Credit: IFAW

Koala wearing mittens to protect its burnt paws. Credit: IFAW


If you haven’t seen the news, the IFAW asked members of the public to sew mittens for koalas that had suffered burns to their paws from the bushfires currently raging across southern Australia. IFAW told an incredibly moving story about the plight of these unbearably cute animals, explaining that with burnt paws the koalas would struggle to grip branches and fall out of trees. IFAW coupled this compelling story with a clear call to action, asking the public to sew mittens for injured koalas and supplied a simple pattern to help with the task.

There are three strong elements to this clever campaign which led to its success. Firstly, the story is extremely emotive and – above all else – it’s koalas in mittens, which is hard to trump. Secondly, there was a clear call to action which, by supplying the mittens pattern, IFAW made it easy for the public to answer. And lastly, the campaign was accompanied by some fantastic images, one of which is featured here. The campaign has been so successful that IFAW today issued a statement expressing its heartfelt thanks to all those who have lent their support and confirmed that they now have enough mittens to see them through the current bushfires. Not only has the campaign successfully raised awareness of the plight of the koalas, it has also, crucially, highlighted the wider work of the IFAW. A job well done.

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