This year we released a new advert: our Tiger in Suburbia. We may not have the clout of some of the Christmas advertising giants, but still it’s sparked some pretty good reactions.
Funny, thought-provoking and just plain odd, here are some of our favourite reactions so far.
1. What about the tiger?
This is the question we’d secretly been hoping for. What about the tiger in the ad?
We were really lucky to work with MPC, experts in visual effects, on this campaign. We were blown away when we saw the computer-generated tiger they’d created for us, but when you’ve seen the model in all its different stages it’s difficult to know whether it’s as realistic as you think. Turns out our tiger is really, really realistic – so much so that people think it’s a real one.
So, to be clear: there was never a real tiger anywhere near this production – not on the set, not on the bed, not anywhere. The whole thing was filmed with an enormous cuddly toy tiger, and the beautiful CG tiger was put in afterwards.
Why, thank you.
3. A practical consideration
That is a good question. The team at MPC did spend a lot of time making the tiger as realistic as possible (14 weeks, in fact), but we have to admit that this particular detail didn’t come into the planning. Any ideas about the best place for a hypothetical full-grown tiger to attend to its business in a normal family house? Tweet us your suggestions @wwf_uk. We would LOVE to hear them.
4. All the feels
This made us laugh, and we hope this person managed to keep it together in the office, but actually this is important. Just over a century ago, there are thought to have been around 100,000 tigers in the wild, and now there are estimated to be around 3,900. That’s a decline of 95%. Frankly, it’s something we think people should be sad about, and we think they should want to do something about it. That’s what the ad’s for – to move people to want to help protect tigers.
But still, sorry we made you cry. #sorrynotsorry
5. This guy’s garden
For reference this is what it looks like in the ad. That’s a lot of weeding!
6. What lion?
This person does make a good point, though. It would be very stupid to have a wild tiger (or a lion, for that matter) in a house. Tigers are enormous – a Bengal tiger like the one in our ad can weigh up to 260kg – and very dangerous. That’s why we were clear from the very beginning that we wanted this to be a symbolic story, and if you watch to the end you’ll see that the tiger disappears into a very improbable forest that’s magically sprung up outside the family’s back door.
The point is that tigers are endangered, and need our help. Yet, for many people it seems like a distant problem and there are bigger issues closer to home. We wanted to bring tigers closer to people, and help them realise that we can do something here in the UK too.
It’s a metaphor, people.
7. All of the money
Not all of it! Just £5 a month would be great.
8. Better than a what?
Shih Tzus are great, and they do 100% make better pets than tigers.
Just to reiterate that thing from before: wild tigers are not pets. Do not have one in your house. They need plenty of space and protection in their natural habitats in the wild, which is the whole point of this ad.
9. Wonderful people (also more feels)
This one’s just an excuse really to give a massive shout out to all the incredible people who are already helping to protect tigers and the other wildlife we share our amazing planet with. You guys are the absolute best, and we salute you. You make everything we do possible.
10. From the director
This is the director of the ad, the brilliant Martin Stirling, so he would say that.
Though it would be great to win Christmas (is that a thing?) what we’re really after here is a huge swell of support for this incredible, inspiring big cat. Yes, their numbers in the wild have declined shockingly in the last century, but this year we’ve seen the first increase in conservation history.
There’s hope. We can do this. We just need a whole load of Tiger Protectors‘ help.
11. Yes, yes, it’s supposed to be a ‘top 10’
Just going to leave that one there.
So, have you seen the ad? How did you react?
If it hit you in the feels, made you cry, or otherwise moved you, you can become a Tiger Protector now for £5 a month. As a thank you, you can also choose to receive a beautiful personalised book in time for Christmas. What’s not to love?
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