Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Say No to Shark Fin Soup - Campaign Launches in China!

The last six months have been hectic, with both Paul and me working on several global shark campaigns with some incredibly talented and passionate folks (and thus, the long pause in postings!). This month, the first campaign “Say No to Shark Fin Soup” launches in China. And we couldn’t be more excited about its potential.

(English version of the online site... Brilliant design and illustrations by Paul Wildman. And fantastic pictures from Eric Cheng. Be sure to check out the compelling video from Shawn Heinrichs as well.)

“Say No to Shark Fin Soup” is a grassroots campaign, geared specifically at primary consumers of Shark Fin Soup, in the hopes of igniting a positive awareness movement regarding shark fin soup and empowering consumers to make a difference by choosing not to consume it. Working closely with WildAid, Shark Savers is launching the campaign on and offline in conjunction with a new Yao Ming PSA (which Shark Savers played a large role in funding).

(PSA in English - check out the site for the Mandarin version. This PSA is playing on several channels in China.)

This is a full-fledged advocacy campaign that allows consumers of shark fin in China to take direct, meaningful action and curb demand and gives them all the tools they need to do so!

In addition to the PSA, we are placing 1000 outdoor billboards in Shanghai and Beijing to further our reach. Last month, our fundraising drive was OUTRAGEOUSLY successful, with us almost doubling our goal in a matter of weeks. We are so thrilled with the outpouring of support and all of the concerned people around the world willing to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, for sharks! We are still raising funds, as we hope to extend the campaign to other cities, like Hong Kong and the U.S., so if you haven’t done so, please consider buying a billboard. For only $100 dollars, you can buy a billboard for a whole year.. And it works! Last year, WildAid had 200 billboards in Beijing for 3 months and 19% of Beijingers responding remembered having seen the boards and 82% of those people said they would stop or reduce their consumption of shark fin soup.

(This year's billboard - going up on bus stops all over China!)

As an important part of the campaign, we developed an online component complete with four grass roots campaigns that include downloadable materials and an additional video that should greatly magnify the impact of the campaign. Everything has been designed and written for the primary consumers of shark fin soup.

The PSA and billboards featuring Yao Ming are designed to bring awareness and then, the website is provided to allow them to learn more. As people come to the web site for more information, they will discover three persuasive reasons not to eat the soup, which were developed based on considerable research into the target audience:

1) Shark can contain high concentrations of toxic mercury

2) Shark fin soup is the primary cause of the rapid and severe eradication of sharks

3) Sharks play a critical role in the ocean environment and their elimination can be highly destructive to the oceans and our future marine food supply

As far as we know, this is the first campaign of its kind for sharks in China. And, taken together with the PSA and billboards, the campaign is probably the most integrated and far-reaching conservation campaign ever conducted in China.

(Chinese version of the printable handout for restaurants - requesting them to stop serving shark fin soup.)

The advocacy campaign allows consumers of shark fin in China take a pledge to "Say 'no' to shark fin soup" following in Yao's (big) footsteps. Then, we empower them to take even more action - ranging from helping brides to make important decisions at their weddings to enabling diners to approach restaurants serving shark fin soup to appealing to corporations to act ethically during business dinners - with a series of downloadables. We are putting it all into the hands of those who can make the biggest difference for sharks.

The site launched last week in China as part of WildAid's Chinese web site in both English and Mandarin. (Can you believe the Shark Savers site is banned there?) We are in the process of integrating this into Shark Savers web site as we extend the campaign to all parts of the world - starting with the U.S. - in 2010.

(More downloadables - an educational brochure in Mandarin.)

1 comment:

mike_d010 said...

Sharks need all the protection that they can get,thank you Shark Angels for all you do. BOYCOTT shark fin soup