To help raise awareness about unethical fur farming practices in China, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia and Ogilvy & Mather, Beijing have launched ‘Fur Hurts’, an integrated campaign with a provocative art installation and corresponding public relations and social media crusade.
“Fur coats and trims on jackets, shoes and other accessories may look fashionable, but they’re the result of terrible pain,” said Hailey Chang, Chinese Campaign Coordinator, PETA Asia. “This is especially true in China, where fur sales have increased over 22 per cent last year and are expected to reach RMB 16.4 billion (USD 2.6 billion) over the next two years. This is a big business and even bigger challenge to overcome.”
O&M Advertising/Beijing brought their idea to life by engaging with the local art community. Led by acclaimed Chinese artist Xie Yong, Professor of the Shenyang University Art Department, and his students, they created a series of nine unique, life-like sculptures that portray the animals most threatened by China’s fur trade, such as rabbits, minks and foxes. Instead of wearing their own highly prized fur, these animals are covered in coats of needles to signify the intense pain they feel at the hands of fur traders. Exhibited at the Zhuozhan Shopping Center in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, one of the chilly northeast Chinese provinces where demand for fur is highest, the sculptures are accompanied by a documentary showing grisly scenes of animals being inhumanely kept and killed. It also features a call to action for viewers to pledge against fur. Ogilvy Public Relations/Beijing also pitched in through media outreach and Chinese celebrity endorsements to further the campaign and cause.
To maximize the installation’s exposure, O&M Advertising/Beijing took the campaign online by creating a campaign mini-site where the animals have been recreated virtually alongside an online petition. Each pledge that is collected promises a needle’s removal from the online sculpture. It is then replaced with a strand of fur to symbolize the real animals being saved from harm. Participants are encouraged to share their pledges through social media.
Juggi Ramakrishnan, Executive Creative Director, O&M Advertising/Beijing, said: “Because it can be quite challenging to ask people to watch real videos of animals suffering at the hands of humans, we took an artistic approach to represent the wretched pain and price that millions of animals pay each year to meet the high demands for fashion. We hope this will prompt the public to stop purchasing and wearing clothing made from animal skin and fur.”
Project title: “Fur Hurts”
Client: PETA Asia
Creative Agency: Ogilvy & Mather/Beijing
Chief Creative Officer: Graham Fink
Executive Creative Directors: Juggi Ramakrishnan, Kweichee Lam, Wilson Chow
Creative Director: Xingsheng Qi
Associate Creative Directors: Awing Chen, Ming Law, Paul Bo
Director: Morris Ku
Art Directors: Peggy Wang, Ashley Chin
Artists: Xie Yong and students of Shenyang University Art Department
Agency Producer: Tony Liang
Production Houses: BestChange (for web production), Ant-X Production Co. (for video