Wildlife Conservation Society

96 Elephants

  • Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Challenge

    Spread awareness to spark advocacy action that protects at risk elephants.

  • Solution

    Create a movement with global reach that educates and inspires visitors to take down the international ivory trade.

  • Results

    In 3 months, we collected over 100,000 signatures pledging their support for a ban on ivory products worldwide.

Take a stand for elephants. When we first heard that 96 elephants are killed each day in Africa, we could hardly believe it. Originally planned as a seasonal effort, the 96 Elephants campaign has since been extended far beyond its original timeline. A custom Rails CMS, paired with a strong yet flexible brand identity, has allowed the campaign to grow its content and audience over time. WCS gave us substantial creative freedom on the project, providing direction only in the form of a campaign name and goal. We then developed not only a unique campaign platform, but also created the original content and brand identity that helped shape a long-standing and successful campaign.

  • Strategy Understanding the Impact of Ivory

    Starting with only the idea of “96 Elephants,” and a goal of elevating WCS with a memorable campaign, we immersed ourselves in research detailing the crisis facing elephants and the tragedy of ivory poaching. This allowed us to develop content that could tell an emotionally-gripping story and would inspire readers to take action through pledge signing.

  • Visual Design Creating a New Brand

    Without an established brand, we conducted an exercise in brand strategy that gave us the 96 Elephants campaign identity. Our color palette was inspired by the subject matter, including earth tones for foundational elements, and pops of khaki and red for focus and action. Photographs were treated in black and white and a subtle warm tint to mimic elephant skin, while visualization of sensitive topics was handled delicately through dramatic illustration.

  • Content Management A Platform That’s Built to Last

    Originally planned as a 6-month campaign, the success of the site prompted WCS to ask us to expand and grow the platform. Our extendible Rails CMS made this technically possible, but we had concerns about introducing the provocative brand to new audiences such as children and educators. We have since successfully evolved this campaign to target audiences of all ages, creating a powerful conservation resource useful for all.


Starting with the true story of the ivory trade and its impact on a beloved species, we created a strong brand plus an adaptable custom platform that has stood the test of time and is reaching, and inspiring, new audiences every day.