"Don’t Let ZSL Become Extinct!" Sir David Attenborough Urges
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Emotive docu-style spot produced by Wunderman Thompson UK uses archive footage from ZSL zoos and their conservation work around the world
Sir David Attenborough fronts a landmark new TV spot to save conservation charity behind London and Whipsnade Zoos 'from extinction'.
“ZSL’s work is vital in driving forward a vision of a world where wildlife thrives, but ZSL now faces its toughest challenge to date – the national institution is now itself, at risk of extinction.” In an extraordinary show of support, Sir David Attenborough has for the first time lent his voice to a unique advert to raise funds for ZSL and its two zoos, London and Whipsnade. Painting a stark picture of the jeopardy that the iconic institution faces, this previously unthinkable sentiment is the frightening reality that world-renowned conservation charity ZSL confronts due to the Corona-enforced closures of its zoos.
The advert, the first of its kind that Sir David Attenborough has appeared in, presents a compelling case highlighting ZSL’s world class zoos and its global science and conservation work. It airs for the first time today during the Bournemouth vs Spurs match on Sky Sports, and rolls out across multiple channels after that.
Narrated by Sir David, the film lands the seriousness of the current situation. The agency donated all creative services to help ZSL, with the broadcast slots also given for free via Sky Media. Funds are being channelled through JustGiving.
Steve Aldridge, chief creative officer at Wunderman Thompson UK said: “Through his numerous documentaries and films, Sir David has captured the imagination of millions of people by bringing the natural world into our homes. Educating us on the beauty the world has to offer but also the threats it faces today. Never did we imagine the possible extinction of conservation charities and institutes such as ZSL would be one of them. We hope through this campaign Sir David won’t have to bring this particular issue to our attention again.”
As well as providing the highest level of animal care, welfare and education at its two zoos, ZSL relies on income from zoo ticket sales to fund global wildlife health research at the revered Institute of Zoology, and to support its active conservation projects in more than 50 countries around the world.
ZSL director general Dominic Jermey said: “The closure of London and Whipsnade Zoos put us under immense financial pressure. Our zoos may have been able to reopen their gates, but with strict social distance measures and heavily restricted visitor numbers we have no way of recouping what was lost; we’re fighting our biggest challenge in our 200-year history.”
The almost 200-year-old society, founded as the world’s first scientific zoo, is in a perilous position. Closed to the public since the end of March, ZSL’s two zoos were shut for an unprecedented three months. With the Society’s core income stream cut, but the immoveable cost of animal care continuing, the lockdown put immense pressure on the charity’s reserves.
Jeremy added; “Unlike any other UK zoo, our zoos are the lifeline for ground-breaking research at the world-renowned ZSL Institute of Zoology, and fund our global conservation projects – work that has never been more vital. As well as educating and inspiring millions of people to make a difference for wildlife, we’re at the forefront of research to understand how diseases such as Coronaviruses transfer from wildlife to humans and using our expertise to help find new ways for humans and wildlife to peacefully co-exist. This amazing expertise of global importance simply can’t be lost, but we need help to keep going.”
Agency: Wunderman Thompson UK
Chief Creative Officer: Steve Aldridge
Creative Director: Paul Snoxell
Head of Art: Guy Sexty
Creatives: Simon Sworn and Giles Hepworth
Business Director: Sally Emerton
Head of Strategy: Marcus Reynolds
Senior Strategist: Will Humphrey
Producers: Elaine Lee, Sara Blackett and Liberty Willison