More targeted demand reduction campaigns are needed to change the purchasing decisions of the users of genuine rhino horn driving the current rhino killing spree. Breaking The Brand is delighted to announce that our campaign, focusing on the primary users in Viet Nam, went live on the 15th September 2014.

This was made possible because supporters from around the world have helped make it happen. Since launching the idea in February 2013, donations of goods and services and fundraising $2,000, via, enabled Breaking The Brand to create a series of 6 adverts by January 2014. These adverts were created to target the two motivators to stop buying rhino horn the users expressed when interviewed, namely:

  • If using negatively impacts my status
  • If using negatively impacts my health or the health of my family/colleagues/friends

With your support Breaking The Brand raised $30,000 to place 19 adverts in three key business and the top selling women’s magazines; including 2 consecutive months in Heritage, the in-flight magazine of Viet Nam Airlines.

We have been on a steep learning curve for the pilot campaign, which has involved:

  • Establishing a relationship with the ad buying agency in Viet Nam
  • Researching and selecting the right publications to target key rhino horn users

The publications we selected will ensure the adverts reach the target audience. In addition, we opted to only use full-page and half-page ads to increase visibility and impact.

rhino-ads1Launch Advert: 15th September – Investment Bridge, a weekly magazine targeted at businessmen; circulation of 65,000. rhino-ads2Advert 3: 19th September – Saigon Business Weekend, a weekly magazine targeted at businesspeople; circulation of 30,000.
rhino-ads3Advert 4: 22nd September – Viet Nam’s bestselling women’s magazine; circulation 100,000 rhino-ads4Advert 5: 22nd September  – magazine details as launch advert
The final advert in our pilot campaign will be published on 1st December 2014.
rhino-ads5Advert 7: 29th September  – magazine details as advert 4

We can’t thank our supporters enough for not only making donations but also bridging Breaking The Brand into your networks including other conservation organisations. We would like to single out Nicholas Duncan for his unwavering support since day one. Nicholas, President of the SAVE African Rhino Foundation, the SARF committee and its members helped raise over $13,000 towards our project. We would also like to thank Taronga Conservation Society for their $4,000 contribution and ongoing support.

Since the launch we have had some great feedback from fellow rhino conservation groups and other supporters. Here is a good example of the type of emails we received: “Congratulations on the launch of your advertising campaign. As an academic interested in consumer studies, I have always been a strong supporter of marketing initiatives that directly target the end-user, and surprised that there are not more organisations such as yours that prioritise a consumer-oriented strategy in tackling the rhino horn problem. I think that your current campaign strikes a good balance between awareness, education, stigmatisation, shock and emotional response. Something that has been lacking, in my opinion, in many of the other campaigns that seem to broadly focus on general education and awareness”.

We have also had some nice feedback from Vu Thi Quyen, Executive director and Founder of Education for Nature in Viet Nam: “I often use your work as good examples for our staff in the office. I love your messaging style as you keep things simple but very creative at the same time. I believe that your messaging works well for Vietnamese.

We are delighted that our adverts are running in parallel with the new TRAFFIC Viet Nam Chi Campaign launch 22nd September – World Rhino Day. Congratulations to Naomi Doak for her work on this campaign, we hope more large, well-resourced conservation organisation follow TRAFFIC Viet Nam’s lead and move away from campaigns that try to impact demand by trying to elicit empathy with the animal.

At the moment we are monitoring our pilot campaign and heading off to Viet Nam to get firsthand feedback on the campaign.

We will use everything we have learned as we prepare the follow-up campaign for Lunar New Year. Rhino horn use and gifts spike during Lunar New Year, so we are very keen to have an updated campaign ready for January. We will need to raise $25,000 for a 5-6 week campaign in the lead up to the Lunar New Year celebration. Breaking The Brand will let you all know once the fundraising campaign launches and would appreciate your continued support.