WWF “Give A Hand To Wildlife”

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(Advertising Agency: Saatchi&Saatchi Simko, Geneva, Switzerland
Creative Director: Olivier Girard
Art Director: Nicolas Poulain
CopywriterJean-Michel Larsen
Body painter: Guido Daniele)

            Over the years the World Wildlife Fund has created many powerful advertising campaigns to keep harm and degradation away from our planet’s natural resources. One of their movements known as the “Give A Hand To Wildlife,” displayed a series of influential images with various animals painted onto a human hand. All of the images in the campaign gave off multiple perspectives because of the various realistic components contained within each image. Through the images perspectives and realistic attributes I felt that they would fit perfectly with the themes of realism and perspective that we began to address this week in class.

          The image that I picked out of the campaign series is the painting of an elephant on a human hand that portrayed two different perspectives. When first looking at the image I saw an elephant and then immediately after my perspective morphed the idea of it being an elephant into a human hand. The image has a different point-of-view from when you first glance at it as opposed to when you stare at it longer. The artist creates a different point-of-view because their perspective is for the viewer to understand their slogan and message through the image alone. The hand symbolizes help and the need to “give a hand” whereas the elephant symbolizes wildlife as a whole. The artist wants this message to be conveyed immediately through the image and that is why the message to “give a hand to wildlife” is in the upper corner in small print. The ability to use the natural creases in a human hand fits perfectly with the many creases that are often seen on an elephant making the image realistic and naturalistic. The soft gray and whites being used make the hand appear closer and stand out from the background that is a plain, dark gray. Lastly, there is an apparent aspect of episteme being used in the image because it is easy to link the image to the world. The artist uses the hand as a depiction of an innocent elephant to portray an impression to the viewer that the elephant is in need of help. Through this one image the observer is able to connect and relate with a current world problem and that is one of the main reasons I feel as though this advertising campaign is extremely powerful.

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2 comments

  1. I like this image a lot because I think it really send the message across in a powerful way. I think it is great how the image of the elephant represents the nature side, the hand helps with the slogan, and the hand also helps bring nature and humans become one. The lines in the skin of the hand are so similar to the skin of an actual elephant that it also helps to get the message across that the two are one. I also agree with the colors used in the paint, the tones create a great contrast to the background but also keep the image under one color pallet for uniformity. All aspects of this image do a wonderful job of getting the viewer right to the point.

  2. I also think that a subtle implication for this series of ads is a point that the WWF is really attempting to drive home. I do agree that the title for these ads, “give a hand to wild life,” certainly registers and operates on an overt level, particularly given the subject content. That is to say that literally the WWF is using this particular idiom, in conjuncture with a painted hand, to say help conserve wildlife. I’d go further though and say that this ad is also operating on a more implicit level, and by rendering depictions of animals on a human canvas, the WWF is stressing the interconnectedness of humanity to the natural world (a human appendage is literally used as the venue to depict an elephant). This elephant, and every animal, shares commonalities to a primordial ancestor, one that solidifies our familial ties to the animal kingdom. So, I believe, this ad is also saying if we let the elephant go extinct, we are essentially letting a piece of ourselves go extinct.

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