Worldwide, rhinos face the threat of extinction. Demand for rhino horn has meant poachers break records for slaughtered rhinos year after year. To broaden awareness of this crisis, the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) needed a way to reach beyond the conservation community and increase engagement from new, sustainable audiences. IRF needed a campaign to meet millennials where they are: online.
Recruit members of a global team to fight poaching and save rhinos. We developed Team Rhino — a global, grassroots digital marketing campaign offering diverse methods of engagement beyond donations alone. We celebrated World Rhino Day with the launch of Team Rhino and harnessed social media to drive the target 18-34 age group to the campaign’s online hub, www.TeamRhino.org. We asked supporters to suit up in Team Rhino jerseys, post selfies in their Team Rhino gear using #TeamRhino, and share prepopulated Facebook and Twitter posts with their fans. To increase our support base, we reached out to several high-profile celebrities (aka Team Rhino MVPs) so they could recruit for Team Rhino. We built a coalition of conservation organizations, and we provided these Team Captains with resources and support amplify the call.
Team Rhino won big — reaching millennials online and reaching previously untapped audiences. Team Rhino secured six celebrity endorsements from Dave Matthews, American Authors, Dr. Jane Goodall, Jack Hanna, Bradley Trevor Greive and Jeff Corwin, who shared their photos and testimonials on World Rhino Day Results from the Team Rhino kickoff inspired IRF to continue the campaign, using the messaging to ramp up support during national and international sporting events — most recently during Super Bowl XLIX and the Indy 500.