HSI (Humane Society International) is an NGO that promotes the human-animal bond, rescue and protection of animals and wildlife, and works against cruelty to animals in all forms.
The #SaveRalph campaign tells the story of a rabbit named Ralph, whose job is to have human cosmetics tested on him in a laboratory. His painful story is brilliantly told in a 4-minute stop-motion animated video directed by Spencer Susser (The Greatest Showman), with the voices of Taika Waititi, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn, and a few famous Hollywood stars. It highlights the cruelty of testing on animals, which is legal in all the target countries, and positions Ralph’s suffering as representing thousands of animals.
HSI launched the campaign with the main video ‘Save Ralph’ and followed it with amplification from KOLs and media. The campaign focused on 16 countries, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, and 10 Southeast Asian nations.
Vero was in charge of helping HSI amplify the campaign in nine SEA countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei. We helped kick off the campaign by publishing the main ‘Save Ralph’ video on social media, followed by the local and regional media pitches and KOL amplifications.
For English-speaking countries like Singapore, Brunei, and the Philippines, Vero pushed out original content from HSI, while in other markets we localized it to varying degrees. As it was a global campaign, HSI needed to make sure all the key messages around the world were unified and consistent, so we followed their content plan.
For press releases, we had more control over messaging, so we adapted and amended the messaging from their global releases to better fit each region and added relevant data for each country.
HSI conducted KOL engagement in the Vietnamese market only, as they considered it a key influential market, so we had local celebrities dub over the original Save Ralph video and amplify it on social media.
Regionally, HSI collaborated with one of the voice actors, Maggie Q, to create a short message video for which Vero provided direction and guidelines.
Thailand is a market with many local cosmetic brands who chose to promote the HSI campaign to differentiate themselves from international brands that engage in animal testing. Many skincare and cosmetics brands responded, claiming their products are cruelty-free. Animal lovers in Thailand even did extensive research on international cosmetic brands that test their products on animals and called out them on social media
In the Philippines and Malaysia, Vero targeted both males and females from metro and peri-urban cities who have modern lifestyles and are digital natives. They engaged with the ad post well and shared it across their social channels.
The media in the Philippines that picked up the news were from top tiers and have huge readership and subscribers, so the average value of advertisement and PR for those outlets was especially high.
The video caused a stir among the public and generated millions of views across the region, spawning organic conversations which spread on social media and continued to draw engagement for over two months. It hit 56M video views on TikTok and inspired 18 top influencers to voluntarily endorse it. We managed to generate over $2M worth of PR value, with 42% of the coverage by tier 1 media in the region.
The strongest response was in Thailand, with 157 pieces of coverage, followed by Indonesia and Vietnam, with 49 and 42 pieces of coverage respectively.
It even spread to Myanmar, which was not a target market, as some beauty bloggers there followed the lead of those in Thailand to speak out about the issue.
Of the target markets, only Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia are places where social issues are often publicly discussed and critiqued. Therefore, it was surprising to see that all markets engaged well with the campaign – except Singapore. While people in most markets engaged with the launch video, shared it, and talked about it online, most Singaporeans who watched the launch video did not react, respond, share the content, or engage in conversations on the topic. The cost-per-click for reaching out to people to sign the petition was the highest in Singapore. Thus, we became aware of how difficult it can be to gain the interest of Singaporean consumers when it comes to cause-based marketing.