Be their Bodhisattva

With the on-going mission of protecting the iconic wildlife animals, WildAid and Change Vietnam wanted to urge Vietnamese people to stop buying wildlife products especially those from rhinos, elephants and pangolins.

Planning & Execution

Rhinos, elephants, and pangolins are killed to supply the demand for illegal products. To launch the campaign, real-life statues of the three species kneel “in prayer” to Buddha at the Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). The rhino kneels with its horn cut off, the elephant bows with broken tusks, and the mother and baby pangolin cower with missing scales.

The statues aim to raise awareness about the devastating impact of the wildlife trade and call on the Vietnamese people to stop buying and consuming wildlife products in order to save these iconic species.

The placement of these statues during the New Year, or Tet, is aimed at building on the belief that performing kind deeds is the best way to start the new year.

In addition to engaging with the statues, pagoda visitors received Tet red envelopes as a new year’s lucky gift and view live-streamed speeches by the pagoda’s Abbots on wildlife protection.The public also participated in interactive contests on social media while learning about the urgent threats these species face due to illegal poaching and trade in their parts. The campaign further garnered attention with the placement of public service announcement messages in movie theaters, on TV, on video screens in taxis, hospitals, banks and shopping centers, and placement of billboards.

Effectiveness / Results

A single installation that gathered a massive amount of PR – to discourage people from using wildlife products we created statues of wild animals praying in front of a Buddha statue. The campaign was covered by over a 100 local and international news outlets, becoming one of the most talked about campaigns to ever come out of Vietnam.

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The Campaign Asia-Pacific Team