Sunday, December 09, 2007

Polar Sympathy

The polar bear does seem to be generating lots of sympathy at the moment, and this sympathy is being ruthlessly exploited.

It's a nice marketing ploy to get people to sponsor animals. Nice and fluffy and able to look amazingly cute. This works as a device to get people to donate money.

The ad above plays on all of this to get people to sponsor an animal. Great interactive way to get people to pick up on the message that climate change is making things worse for many animals across the globe. I do think Attenborough should get some credit for the original idea for this advert, but I doubt he'll get it!

The thing that gets me though is that the website doesn't explain how you adopt a polar bear. You pay at least £2.50 a month in order to "adopt" it. What does this mean?

In my own thoughts you can't own a wild animal. Once it is owned it is a domestic animal, though admittedly it doesn't automatically become tame. If you adopt it, does it stop being wild (and therefore an illegitimate target for the world wildlife fund)?

If it isn't adopted, how do you know which animal is being looked after for you? What do they do for it?

I think the gift pack is a good idea and I'm sure the donation will be useful to the WWF, but the advertising is slightly misleading because your money is not going to the specific cause that you would expect from the naming of the product.

Of course I am getting my information from a cursory inspection of their website, but this website should be their opportunity to show how much work goes into caring for each of the 'adoptees' and it doesn't.

Overall it's a great advert but I think they could have been more open about what the money is actually going towards.

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