The Breaking The Brand Project leads the charge to stop the demand for rhino horn in Asia.
This report details “Breaking the Brand Project’s” work for the last 12 months. This organization, launched in 2013, is made up of volunteers in Melbourne, Australia and supported by the Perth based SAVE African Rhino Foundation and was created to address the increased demand for rhino horn from Viet Nam, which is the primary link to the rhino trade in Africa and Asia. This report can be viewed in its entirety at Breaking the Brand’s 2nd annual report.
Per the group’s executive summary, they have achieved great goals during their 2nd year:
- Raised $58,000 to deliver two pilot demand reduction campaigns using health anxiety around rhino horn infusion as the main motivation to achieve reduced demand. The campaigns ran for 5 months in a number of key business, airline and women magazines in Viet Nam.
- Continued to share and cross-check user analysis, demand reduction insights and broader findings with representatives of established conservation organizations – including representatives at TRAFFIC, FFI, WildAct Viet Nam and the Rhino Rescue Project together with independent conservationists and zoologists.
- Traveled to South Africa, Viet Nam and Kenya to further our understanding of the current situation in relation to combating rhino poaching and rhino horn demand.
- Presented to the UNODC Wildlife and Timber Crime workshop in Bangkok.
- Refined the definition of demand reduction and shared insights with other organizations seeking the same aims in Viet Nam and China.
- Expanded the group’s media profile through blog posts, interviews, social media and running the crowd funding campaigns
Rhino poaching rates are continuing to grow in Africa and Asia. The Horn Infusion project, where rhino horns are infused with dye to deter poaching, lost ground in the second half of 2014, but is beginning to rebuild and media coverage of the risks of consuming poisoned rhino horn is spreading. While waiting for the results of CITES (CoP17) in 2016, prosecution of rhino horn users has dropped and the demand for off-trade rhino horn has increased.
Breaking the Brand (BTB) has continued to form relationships with other conservationist groups and will continue their focus of expanding the trial-and-evaluation of demand reduction messages for the next 12 months. In early 2015, BIB visited South Africa, primarily focused on the horn infusion project. While there, they witnessed 3 infusions. BIB continues to support the Rhino Rescue Project and they work they are doing with horn infusion despite campaigns to discredit the organization’s work. BTB’s trip to Kenya to speak to local tribe members was also successful in educating people to the plight of the rhino, although a missed educational opportunity for children stemmed from the lack of a rhino exhibit at the Nairobi National Museum.
BTB is a volunteer run organization and funded by donations. Large donations were made last year by Save the Rhino foundation– $20000, imake a difference– $6000, Taronga Conservation society– $4000 SAVE foundation – $3000. Other supporters are acknowledged on BTB’s website.
BTB launched two new advertising campaigns in Viet Nam: “Breaking The Brand’s pilot RhiNo campaign – Is it worth the risk” and “Lunar New Year RhiNo Campaign: Will your luck run out?” BTB’s facebook page was launched in 2013 and has received over 1300 likes and has continued to be a platform to reach social media members through their Speak Out For Rhinos letter although other posts have decreased to focus on email campaigns.
BTB was also invited to present their demand reduction approach to the UNODC Wildlife and Timber Crime conference in Bangkok in January 2015. Other workshops at the conference appear to show an increase in international collaboration and seizures of rhino horn. BTB’s presentation can be reviewed here.
For the upcoming year, BTB will focus on trialing a number of different ways of targeting status anxiety to achieve demand reduction outcomes and will be starting fundraising for a new campaign hoping to raise $30,000 to test the response of their status anxiety designs. They will also be investigating China’s demand for rhino horn so designs may be altered to fit their needs.
Anyone interested in learning more about this organization should contact :