This Bus Ad Shows Endangered Animals Disappearing Each Time the Doors Open

Danish agency Pong highlights the heartbreaking pace of wildlife loss

Earlier this month the wildlife charity WWF published a harrowing report that estimated there had been a 68% decline in the number global vertebrate species populations between 1970 and 2016 due to “humanity’s increasing destruction of nature.”

To promote awareness of these serious declines, caused largely by human actions, WWF’s Danish creative agency Pong turned a bus into a creative canvas by creating a jungle-themed wraparound with images of an orangutan, gorilla and tiger on the side of the vehicle.

As well as looking striking, the ad has a simple but clever twist: When the doors open to let passengers disembark, the animals become hidden from view. The message on the bus reads: “Every time this bus stops, an endangered animal disappears.”

“We want to create awareness around the alarming development and make people think about their actions,” Pong creative director Mikkel Elung told Adweek.

“When WWF told us about the new report, we were shocked. But when the shock wore off, we realized that the problem with these terrible facts and big numbers [is that they’re] too abstract and very far away from Danes’ everyday life,” he said.

“We wanted to make it as relevant and real as possible.” The team worked out that, in real time according to their estimates, an animal species disappears at even greater frequency than a Danish bus pulls up at a bus stop. The agency wanted to illustrate that to Danish consumers literally.

The bus will drive around Denmark for three weeks and will be supported by social activity and a drive for donations.

WWF brand manager: Cirkeline Buron
Art director: Rasmus Zepernick
Creative director: Mikkel Elung
Client service: Mette Hørdum

@saramayspary Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.