May 23 of every year has been observed as World Turtle Day, encouraging people to discover the world of turtles and tortoises, and to learn how to help conserve them. Celebrations include dressing up as turtles or wearing green summer dresses, saving turtles caught on highways, research activities, or like one Indian men’s lifestyle brand named Turtle did.
It launched a month-long social media-driven campaign to save the endangered species where user likes and shares translated into donations. One could also donate their loyalty points at the clothing store.
An animated baby turtle called Shelly was created for Turtle’s campaign named #SaveLittleShelly and through her story, the brand built awareness and engagement around the cause. Created by J Walter Thompson, in a four-part animation series, a viewer is taken through the journey of little Shelly right from the time she hatches till she reaches out to the sea, after having braved a number of natural predators on the way.
Beginning May, the brand released part 1 of #SaveLittleShelly on its YouTube channel and spread it through its social media properties using the campaign hashtag. In part 1, Shelly has just hatched and her natural instincts tell her to go find the sea. As she can’t do it alone, Turtle asked viewers to help by sharing, liking the video.
Following a good number of likes, Little Shelly proceeds further in her journey to the sea in part 2, where she needs to be saved from eagles and crabs. In part 3, she gets close to the sea but is threatened by a boy with a stone. A vehicle’s horn is heard in the distance, scaring off the boy but putting Little Shelly right on the line of the vehicle. Luckily, the vehicle moves over her and you see the hashtag appeal on the screen. Shelly’s biggest threat is from poachers.
In the final part released on May 23, World turtle Day, you see Little Shelly wading underwater. She has made it to the sea and is discovering the wonders of underwater sea life, while a text blurb tells you what can be done to save turtles.
While the film was being launched in parts, the Facebook and Twitter pages of Turtle engaged fans with informative pieces of content and also shared Shelly’s journey. Fun facts about turtles were mixed with disturbing facts about turtles, while inviting fans to take part in the initiative.
— TurtleOnline (@turtleworld) May 2, 2015
— TurtleOnline (@turtleworld) May 6, 2015
— TurtleOnline (@turtleworld) May 7, 2015
Storytelling for a cause
Brand Turtle has been involved in the conservation of turtles and #SaveLittleShelly not only reinforces its association with the environmental cause, but also does it around World Turtle Day. Through the adorable character of a baby turtle with a name and her story of survival, the brand managed to build a personal connection with the viewer. Not only does one learn about why turtles are an endangered species but also the brand’s role in conserving them. Excellent leverage of storytelling, especially for what could have been an otherwise unexciting CSR campaign by the brand.
The blend of cute visuals and informative facts adds to the campaign storytelling, making it a memorable one. Turtle let fans take up the cause, by steering it forward with their likes and shares, and not rolling out the full film in one go. #SaveLittleShelly banks well on digital storytelling but could have been boosted with a dedicated microsite of its own.