If you stumble upon a press release titled “Darwin Was Wrong; It’s Survival of the Cutest” would you read it? We did, and we found a worthwhile cause to bring to your attention. Ogilvy & Mather Chicago created a superb video to promote APES (a project of The Conservation Trust). APES is a wildlife conservation project, with specific focus on primates, and the video below aims to spread the message that all animals (primates) need to be protected, not just the “cute” ones.
The campaign challenges a popular trend among wildlife organizations that put more emphasis in saving “cute” animals, especially pandas:
“In recent years, a popular trend amongst wildlife organizations has emerged to ‘save the pandas.’ Pandas, however, are just one species of primates that need our protection. Ogilvy Chicago decided to deviate from this trend by calling it out — brought to life in the striking image of a gorilla painting himself white to appear more like the lovable panda,” Ogilvy states in the press release.
Disregarding that Ogilvy erroneously classifies pandas as primates in the press release promoting the video, the message is powerful and heartwarming. The video shows a gorilla painting itself white to appear more like the lovable panda, and ends with the message: “If I were a panda, would you save me?”
With “survival of the cutest” Ogilvy paraphrases “survival of the fittest”, an evolutionary theory phrase coined by Herbert Spencer, and erroneously attributed to Darwin. Because many wildlife organizations put a strong emphasis on “cute” in their campaigns, it makes sense to remind the public that not only the “cute” animals deserve a fair chance. There are many endangered primates that need protection, for instance, silky sifaka, several species of lemur and langur, gorillas, the Northern brown howler, the brown spider monkey, and so on.
Regardless that Ogilvy don’t know the difference between bears and primates, and regardless that whoever wrote that press release skipped biology in school, this is one of those instances where the message is what counts, and not how it is delivered. One can only congratulate Ogilvy for the video below:
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