Born Free Foundation Puts Spotlight on Wildlife Decline With ‘Nature’s Closing Down Sale’

A larger-than-life salesman leads darkly humorous spoof by Engine

Born Free Foundation enlists a cheesy salesman for wildlife decline PSA. Born Free Foundation / Engine

LONDON—Born Free Foundation has released a 60-second “closing down sale” spoof ad to raise awareness of wildlife population decline.

Created by agency Engine, the online spot forms part of a campaign that was timed to launch alongside Black Friday and Cyber Monday, featuring footage of tigers, rhinos, pangolins and elephants in the wild overlaid with garish sales graphics.

A larger-than-life British salesman pitches that there are “incredible reductions of all your favorite animals. Tigers: down; leopards: down; rhinos: not 70%, not 80%, but now up to 90% less.”

The spot forms part of a wider social and outdoor campaign with a series of executions at locations donated by Jack and Ocean Outdoor, and aims to drive donations to the charity and adoptions of wildlife. It will run through to the end of December.

The social activity comprises a takeover of the charity’s Instagram page so that it appears to be a pop-up shop.

Will Travers, Born Free’s executive president and co-founder, said: “People who care can really do something about it by adopting a wild animal with Born Free this Black Friday—maybe we should call it Wild Friday instead. With Christmas looming, animal adoptions also make a wonderful gift at this time of year.”

Katy Hopkins, creative director at Engine, added: “We wanted to highlight that people can save more than money this sale season, by adopting an animal with Born Free—and the intrinsic urgency of sales advertising felt like the perfect way to highlight the desperate state of the world’s wildlife.”

In July, the agency collaborated with Aardman Animations in a spot that made captive animals relatable—by taking people’s frustrations about life in lockdown and putting their words into the mouths of caged, animated creatures.

Chief Creative Officer: Billy Faithful
Creative Directors: Katy Hopkins & Steve Hawthorne
Art Directors: Jason Keet, Alicia Job
Copywriters: James Hodson, Jessica Watson
Account Directors: Owen Keating, Tom Butler
Agency Producers: Laura Melville, Henry Davies
Planner: Rob Jennings
Photographers: George Logan, Martin Harvey
Director: Chris Boyle
Production Company: Private Island
Producer: Helen Power
Editor: Private Island
Post Production: Private Island
Sound Design: Ben Leeves, Jungle
Lead Designer: Kaoru Sato

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