Animal Planet is the world's only entertainment brand that gives viewers deep content to the full range of life in the animal kingdom. Partnered with WildAid, an organization committed to ending the illegal wildlife trade through public awareness campaigns, Animal Planet commits to implementing an extensive multimedia consumer awareness campaign in the US focused on elephant poaching and the illegal sale of ivory products.
Animal Planet's Communications and Marketing departments will launch an extensive consumer awareness campaign to partner with media outlets globally to highlight the devastating consequences of the ivory trade on African Elephants. Through the 'THE YAO MING PROJECT,' Animal Planet will work with Ming and WildAid to uncover the brutal secrets of this multi-million dollar underground trade and highlight Ming's mission to educate and inspire his countrymen and the world in order to stop the killing of elephants for ivory. Promotion of the documentary and additional information on it and the issue will also be offered on Animal Planet's website with clips of the show and PSAs on the issue beginning late 2014 and remaining online.
September 2014 - November 2014: Animal Planet will implement an extensive multimedia consumer awareness campaign in the US highlighted by the airing of a world premiere documentary that will educate consumers on the pressing issue of elephant poaching and illegal sales of ivory products. Animal Planet's Communications department will launch an extensive consumer awareness campaign targeting key national and local press efforts and will leverage Yao Ming as spokesperson. By working with the press and other media outlets, Animal Planet seeks to raise awareness on the issue of ivory and elephant poaching, as well as publicize the November 2014 premier of the 'THE YAO MING PROJECT' documentary. Animal Planet's Marketing department will continue the promotion of the documentary and the consumer education focus by promoting the special and the elephant issue with an on-air promo and graphics, starting one week before the premiere date.
November 2014: Promotion of the documentary and additional information will also be offered online on Animal Planet's website with clips of the show and PSAs on the issue beginning in the month of November and remaining online.
Within the next generation, elephants may face global extinction in the wild. An estimated 100 African elephants are killed daily for their tusks, and global demand continues to grow despite an international ban on the sale of ivory. A June 2014 report by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species predicts that 20 percent of Africa's elephants may be killed in the next ten years if poaching continues at current levels.
Lack of consumer consciousness and the growth of the luxury goods market in Asian countries are contributing to the widespread poaching of elephants where ivory is used for jewelry, ornaments, and religious carvings, and is valued as a luxury item. Africa is an epicenter of the poaching industry, and illicit trade in threatened and endangered species is a multibillion-dollar business driven by transnational criminal network.
As authorities point to strong demand for specific wildlife products as the prime catalyst for trafficking, efforts to stop trafficking must include educational campaigns directed at consumers. By increasing awareness through the use of video, posters, billboards, and websites, educational materials can be disseminated to parts of the world where demand for products from endangered products remain high.