Commitment to endangered species “reaches across the Nat Geo portfolio”.
The National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative – which supports scientists and conservationists working to save big cats in the wild – is making headline news.
With Big Cat Month in full swing on the Nat Geo WILD channel and endangered species a strong theme in both National Geographic magazines and its highly successful licensing campaign, National Geographic is strongly underlining its commitment to animals under threat of extinction.
But the latest promotional event for the Big Cats Initiative took awareness to another level.
On Tuesday 5 February, a missing cat poster appeared in London’s Paternoster Square – but not on a wall or building. The vast 260 sq. ft poster, designed by street artist Dean Zeus Colman and showing Archie the lion with the headline ‘Have You Seen Archie’?’, was painted onto the ground. As the day went on it gained a lot of attention but it also slowly started to disappear, unwittingly rubbed out by members of the public as they went about their business.
This tangible reminder that lions are being wiped out and that we need to act now has had an electrifying effect on awareness, inspiring coverage both of the street poster and of the Big Cats Initiative as a whole in national and international press, as well as consumer and trade press, radio and TV.
Meanwhile the initiative is moving to Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol and Leeds and other UK cities with physical posters that direct people to visit ‘savearchie.com’, where they can find more information about the Big Cats Initiative.
Awareness of animals and threats to their existence is also being supported across the National Geographic portfolio, including its licensing campaign, which has seen Clarks announce a range of footwear for both kids and adults using a collection of photographs by Joel Satore the founder of the Photo Ark, a ground-breaking effort to document all animals in captivity before they disappear. Photo Ark has also inspired Ravensburger to launch a 1000-piece puzzle product called 99 Amazing Animals. Topps, meanwhile, has recently launched a highly successful National Geographic Kids Animals Sticker Collection.
Helena Mansell Stopher, Director, Consumer Products, UK & Europe, National Geographic says: “The effect of this initiative has been a powerful one in recent years, but it now reaches across the National Geographic portfolio with strong support from all our business and research areas – TV, publishing, social media, licensing and much more. We’re all thrilled at being part of this headline-making effort to raise awareness of the pressing need to protect big cats.”