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WWF, TRAFFIC and Ogilvy Shanghai paint a picture of vanishing endangered species

18 September, 2013


Pro Bono Guerrilla Street Art Campaign Illustrates Need for Wildlife Conservation in China

SHANGHAI — Global conservation organization WWF and wildlife trade conservation network TRAFFIC joined forces with Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Shanghai (O&M) to create a pop-up guerrilla art campaign, “Protecting Vanishing Treasures,” that calls the Chinese public’s attention to endangered species’ alarming rate of extinction.

“In the time it takes you to read what I’m saying, one of our planet’s unique species will have become extinct. By this time tomorrow, a further 150 to 200 will have vanished, ” said Ms. XU Ling, Senior Program Officer at TRAFFIC. “There has never been a more urgent time to raise awareness about the dire state of endangered species, especially in China which has a seemingly insatiable appetite for threatened wildlife.”

O&M developed the idea to use water instead of real ink to paint life-size renditions of the most heavily consumed endangered species in China on the ground of the Grand Gateway Shanghai, one of the city’s most popular public spaces. Chinese artist Mr. WANG Xieda, who also joined the cause pro bono, painted four endangered animals on the ground, including the tiger, elephant, rhino and sea turtle, in the style of Chinese calligraphy. Within moments, the animal paintings had evaporated from the hot asphalt, illustrating that in the short time it took these paintings to disappear, one wildlife species would have vanished.

Held this month, the pop-up guerrilla art event had a QR code on-site that led passersby to the campaign mini-site where a call to action asked them to pledge to not consume endangered species and to spread the word on Chinese social media Sina Weibo.

"Art can be one of the most powerful media to send a message such as WWF and TRAFFIC’s mission to conserve wildlife and curb the most pressing threats to the diversity of animals on earth,” said O&M Chief Creative Officer Graham Fink. “We’re honored to use our craft to help non-profit organizations create something meaningful for an exceptional cause.”

Link to campaign mini-site:  
Watch the video in Chinese:  

Project Title: “Protecting Vanishing Treasures”
Brief: To create a campaign to raise awareness about endangered species and conservation in wildlife trade
Creative Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Shanghai
Account Management: Selin Shen, Camille Li
Chief Creative Officer: Graham Fink
Executive Creative Directors: Francis Wee, Sean Sim
Creative Director: Eric Lum
Copywriter: Joan Hu
Art Director: Mendelssohn Zhang
Agency Producers: William Huen, Calvin Mao
Artist: Wang Xieda (James Cohan Gallery)
Production Houses: Carrot Films, Pro Films, JT’s Ideas
Film Director: Wang Limin
Production House Executive Producers: Steven Ng, Jacky, Ken Xie
Exposure: Outdoors, online

About the Artist
From a background in calligraphy, Mr. WANG Xieda makes sculptures, notably in bronze but also in rattan and paper pulp that share essential qualities with Chinese calligraphy in both structure and spirit. His work draws inspiration from his continuous study of ancient Chinese pictograms and ideograms, focusing on the material presence of bronze lines that are minimal, elegant, and which embody a sense of drawing in space. In the summer of 2012, Wang spent a month in Edinburgh, Scotland, researching the legacy of Scottish pioneer environmentalist John Muir. Wang’s residency in Edinburgh led to the creation of work that is inspired by ancient Chinese pictograms and evokes geographical forms. For more information, please visit  

TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature. As a leader in the field of conservation, TRAFFIC advocates legal and sustainable wildlife trade. TRAFFIC is a strategic alliance of IUCN and WWF. It started operation in China in 1996. For more information, visit  

About WWF (World Wildlife Fund)
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent and non-governmental conservation organizations. Since its foundation in 1961, WWF has dedicated itself to the cause of nature conservation, with over 5.2 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. For more information, visit  

Ogilvy & Mather
Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. In 2012, O&M was named Cannes Lions Network of the Year and Most Effective Agency Network by the Effies Global Effectiveness Index. The company is comprised of industry leading units in all of the following disciplines: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing; consulting, research and analytics capabilities; branded content and entertainment; and specialist communications. O&M services Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses through its network of more than 450 offices in 120 countries. It is a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY). For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @OgilvyWW and on

Press Contact
Wendy Fung
Corporate Communications
T +86 10 8520 6223 

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