WWF UK's cat video with a twist

The animal charity has teamed up with the cat food brand Whiskas for a new video that uses funny YouTube clips of cats to communicate a more serious message

What is it?

The animal welfare charity WWF UK has teamed up with Whiskas, the cat food manufacturer, to produce a video called 9 Lives.

The 90-second video contrasts a number of comical clips featuring domestic cats getting into scrapes and coming out unscathed, with the plight of a tiger that has been killed, apparently by poachers, in the wild. The tagline for the campaign is: "Not all cats have 9 lives."

Why now?

According to WWF, the population of wild tigers has fallen by more than 95 per cent over the last century and as few as 3,200 remain in the wild. The partnership between Whiskas and WWF is in its third year and has raised more than £600,000. This year, the two are planning to raise a further £250,000 to support the big cat conservation efforts. They aim to help protect Asia’s wild tigers and double their numbers by 2022.

Alison Lucas, the executive director of communications and fundraising at WWF UK, said: "Wild tigers are in crisis and there is an urgent need for action in the next ten years. We have an extremely ambitious target to double tiger numbers in the wild by 2022, so partnerships with high-profile brands such as Whiskas are invaluable. The more people we can inform about the potential fate of our wild tigers, the greater our hope of saving them."

What else?

The campaign will be supported by advertising, PR, in-store and point-of-sale promotional activity to help raise awareness of the endangered tiger population.

Whiskas promises to put in a pound for every pound donated up to £50,000 and will donate 3p from each pack of Whiskas it sells until April 2015.

Third Sector verdict

The juxtaposition of "cat fail" clips with the distressing scenes of a tiger that has been killed by poachers is an effective technique to convey the campaign’s message. By tapping into the popularity of YouTube clips featuring cats, the producers of the video have created a compelling campaign that captures the zeitgeist of the video-sharing website.

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