Earth Day: DDB New York launches Endangered Song Project for the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park & Conservation Biology Institute

SMITHSONIAN-1.jpgSMITHSONIAN-2.jpgDDB Worldwide and The Smithsonian's National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute announced today, on Earth Day 2014, the launch of the Endangered Song Project, an analog-meets-digital awareness campaign that calls upon 400 participants to use their social media strength to spread the message that there are only 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.

The National Zoo and DDB's New York office partnered with Atlantic Records indie rock band Portugal. The Man to distribute a previously unreleased song titled 'Sumatran Tiger.' The song was lathe-cut onto 400 custom polycarbonate records designed to degrade after a certain amount of plays. With no other copies in existence, the 400 participants are tasked with digitizing and sharing the song through their social channels with the hashtag #EndangeredSong. Breeding the song socially will help save it from extinction, thus raising awareness about the critically endangered Sumatran tigers and need for conservation efforts.

Says Aussie expat Matt Eastwood, chief creative officer of DDB New York: "It is our hope that through the Project, the carefully selected participants will be galvanized to share the song along with the frightening statistic for the Sumatran tigers."

The campaign will be supported through a dedicated website,, which features a real-time update of all the social conversations surrounding the project, more about the initiative and how people can help perpetuate the song.

SMITHSONIAN-3.jpgThe list of the 400 participants involved in the Endangered Song Project includes a wide range of music artists, noted bloggers, wildlife conservationists, and other social media influencers who were asked to share the song, spread the message and help ignite change.

"Announcing this initiative on Earth Day is a powerful way to share our on-going commitment to securing a future for not only wild tigers but other endangered species," said Pamela Baker-Masson, Associate Director of Communications at the Smithsonianâs National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute. "As scientists explore new and innovative ways to conserve wildlife, so must we partner in new and unexpected ways to build awareness and inspire action. Simply put, our job is to save species and ensure a sustainable future for the world we share with all animals."

John Gourley of Portugal. The Man, commented: "Growing up in Alaska, we were surrounded by wildlife and the beauty of the natural world. We learned that we couldn't take these things for granted. Thus the message of this project was very personal to us as a band, and we jumped at the chance to use our music to spread the urgent message of a species in danger of extinction."

With less than 400 left in the wild, Sumatran tigers are the smallest surviving tiger subspecies. Listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, these majestic creatures are found in forests of Borneo and Sumatra. The two major threats to Sumatran tigers are habitat loss and poaching. In addition, deforestation increases the chances of tigerâhuman conflict. The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute supports conservation efforts, like the Global Tiger Recovery Program, which is working to double the number of wild tigers by 2022. Together with the GTRP, the Smithsonian hosts courses to train people charged with patrolling tiger ranges to monitor for potential conflicts and ultimately help protect tigers.

The National Zoo's Sumatran tigers participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan. The SSP makes breeding recommendations for tigers in accredited zoos to preserve their genetic diversity. Those tigers serve as an insurance population for the approximately 400 wild Sumatran tigers. The National Zoo has bolstered the Sumatran tiger population in human care to date with 15 cubs.

Client: Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Associate Director of Communications: Pamela Baker- Masson
Communications Manager: Annalisa Meyer

Advertising Agency: DDB New York
CCO: Matt Eastwood
AD: Michael Kushner
CW: Daniel Paredes
GCD: Andrew McKechnie
ECD: Menno Kluin
CD: Julie Beasley
CD: Mariana Costa
Producer: Nina Horowitz
Head of Production: Ed Zazzera
In-house Editor: Kyle McMorrow
Account Director: Marina Zuber
Account Supervisor: Angelina Singleton
Account Executive: Dan Colman
Technical Director: Jamie Templeton
Digital Designer: Megan Sheehan
Digital Producer: Meredith Moffat
Community Manager: Gurbani Chadha
Senior Content Strategist: Ryan Fenn

Editorial house: Fluid
Editor: John Piccolo
Additional Editing: Rhys Hecox, Christian Oreste
Executive Producer: Laura Relovsky
Audio Mixing: Mr. Bronx Audio, David Wolfe
Color- Nice Shoes: Lez Rudge
Online- Fluid NY

Production Company: Kamp Grizzly
Director, DP: Dan Portrait
Producer: Jeff Harding
Videographer: Paul Willetts

Lathe Production House: Peter King

Music Production House: Squeak E. Clean

Band: Portugal. The Man
Band Members: John Gourley, Zach Carothers, Kyle O'Quin, Jason Sechrist
Add'l musicians: Ryan Neighbors
Produced by John Hill and John Gourley
Mixed by Andy Wallace
Management, The Artists Organization: Rich Holtzman
Record Company: Atlantic Music, Inc.


AF said:

And here's the problem.

It took nine paragraphs to explain this idea - and don't get me wrong, it's a good idea.

And I'm sure it'll pick up, as it's designed to.

But reading a few paragraphs or watching a two minute entry video is far more time or effort than anyone other than CB bloggers or jurors will ever, ever do.

It has multiple layers, there's some sort of vinyl that only 400 people will get, apparently I have to breed the digital version of some song by some band. Yeah, it's all a bit much now.

Back in the day, someone fed 55 rounds of ammunition into a belt-fed machine gun whilst explaining that there were only 55 of a certain type of Rhino left in the world. Then the gun was fired. It took about three seconds before they were all gone.

The ad took fifteen seconds and I've remembered the ad for over twenty years.

If you ran it now, you'd let far more people know than this ever will.

But who cares about doing the right thing by 400 Tigers when it was the Lion you wanted all along?

Yep said:

Very well said AF.

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