Breaking The Brand’s supporters do it again – Vietnamese New Year Campaign ‘Will your luck run out?’ went live on the 16th January 2015. To follow up from our successful pilot campaign ‘Is it worth the risk?’, the Breaking The Brand project team has created a campaign for Vietnamese New Year or Tet. This could not have been done without our supporters in Australia and worldwide who donated the funds to run full-page adverts in key business, lifestyle and women’s magazines for 5 weeks leading up to the lunar New Year on the 19th February 2015. This includes a full-page advert in Heritage Magazine, the in-flight magazine of Viet Nam Airlines throughout February, a time when many wealthy Vietnamese are travelling to see family for the holiday.
Vietnamese New Year or Tet (which translates to the Feast of the First Morning of the First Day) is the most important public holiday in Viet Nam. Many believe that how well things go in the preparation for the holiday and over the 3 day celebration will undoubtedly impact personal and professional success in the year ahead, particularly in relation to health, prosperity and happiness.
Rhino horn use spikes during Tet. It is given as a gift to gain favours with managers and business contacts in the weeks leading up to the holiday and use in the so called ‘millionaire’s detox drink’ increases markedly due to the nature of the celebrations. This is why it is vital to advertise at this time of the year.
We felt it was important to remind these businessmen that at a time when they are focusing on their own prosperity, by driving the killing of rhinos to fulfil their desire for horn, they are drastically impacting the lives of people that don’t have the same opportunities as they themselves have.
We maintained our focus on the two primary users targeted in our pilot campaign, namely high status males and affluent mothers. Wealthy women buy rhino horn for their children and sick parents. The adverts are a reminder to these women that whilst they are thinking about the well-being of their family, giving rhino horn to their loved ones may have the opposite effect as more-and-more rhino horn is being infused with toxins. Organophosphates, which are a neurotoxin, that can affect the central nervous system, brain development and cause cognitive problems, are being infused in to rhino horn while on the live animal. Other toxins used include ectoparasiticides, which are linked to an increased risk of certain cancers and radioactive tracers are being injected in to some horns.
We know from interviewing the users of genuine rhino horn, one of only two reasons they would stop using is if taking it has a negative impact on their personal or their family’s/business associate’s health. We feel it is important to inform people in Viet Nam that horn infusion is happening and the health consequences of ingesting poisoned rhino horn are a real risk.
Finally, we wanted to highlight to these women, and subsequently test for empathy, that their actions in purchasing rhino horn is, in another part of the world, causing wives to become widows and children fatherless given the numbers of rangers being killed whilst protecting rhinos is escalating. In July 2014 the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) reported on the rising murder toll of park rangers. In 2013 poachers were responsible for killing 69 rangers, but they stated that given only a voluntarily reporting framework is in place the actual number could be two to three times higher.
The four adverts in the designed for the campaign are (click on advert to enlarge):
Again, the Breaking The Brand team would like to take this opportunity to thank the individuals and organisations in Australia and around the world for helping us to make this campaign happen. Given the tragic and record poaching levels of 2014 we can not let these users go unchallenged and uneducated.
These are the views of writer: Dr. Lynn Johnson, Founder, Breaking the Brand