South Africa: It’s stupid. But then so is extinction

JOHANNESBURG, December 2012 – The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) has launched an innovative social media campaign in partnership with Owen Kessel Communication (OK) to draw attention to the plight of endangered species. Drawing inspiration from wild animal clips that went viral all over the internet, low-fi versions of the videos have been recreated with one critical difference – the original animals have been replaced with ‘fake’ ones.  The videos explore the dismal and disappointing reality of a world without wildlife and will hopefully stir audiences to necessary action.

The campaign message: “It’s stupid. But then so is extinction,” is designed with the purpose of drawing users of social media to the various online platforms of the EWT, while the call to action: “A small donation can make a difference,” aims to assist the Trust in raising funds for its crucial activities.

Said Yolan Friedmann, CEO of the EWT: “We are very excited about the creative partnership with Owen Kessel and the new environmental warriors we hope to reach with the online campaign.  The aim of “It’s stupid. But then so is extinction,” is to expose a younger audience to the plight of our wildlife and further share our work with new South African and international audiences.  People around the world can no longer ignore the fact that the environment in which we live underpins every single human need, demonstrated every day by both the losses of thousands of lives due to environmental disasters or the lack of access to quality natural resources, as well as by the dependence of millions of lives on their natural surroundings for their sustainability.”

The campaign will find its home on YouTube –, on facebook and on twitter @TheEWT 

Adding to the digital awareness campaign is an innovative Facebook App, which has been designed and donated by David Potgieter to make it easier for younger audiences to show their appreciation for the work done by the organisation through financial donations.  A competition, with a luxury weekend getaway generously sponsored by Champagne Sports Resort – Central Drakensberg as the prize, will further entice audiences to spread details of the campaign far and wide online and by word of mouth.

According to Mike Cook, Creative Director at OK, “We loved this idea from the start. Not only did we get to make funny memes but we are setting a new standard in communication. Millions of people watch these wildlife clips each month, our campaign uses this viewership to our client’s advantage. With a small amount of paid media we can create maximum viewership, which will convert into donations for the EWT.”