Muse By Clio | Sheep Gamely Portray Endangered Species in San Diego Zoo’s PSAs

GS&P brings humor to conservation message
Press November 11, 2021

Mutton to see here!

The peacocks, giraffes, lions, rhinos and other endangered species portrayed in the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s new PSAs just ain’t right.

In fact, they’re not peacocks, giraffes, lions or rhinos at all. Instead, sheep don masks, hairpieces and costumes to memorably illustrate the message: “You can’t replace wildlife once it’s gone.”

“Most of us experience wildlife through nature documentaries like ‘Planet Earth.’ So, we tried to emulate the familiar visual language of majestic nature docs with one not-so-majestic twist,” says Ryan Tovani, creative director at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, which developed the ads. “Luckily, we live in a very geographically diverse state, California, with redwood groves, grasslands, beaches and mountains. So, we could mimic the exotic habitats of our endangered animals.”

That’s a novel, lighthearted way to make a … shear-ious point. (Oof!) Still, we wonder, why cast sheep?

“We asked ourselves: What would a world without diverse wildlife be like? And the answer was, well—pretty boring. And what’s more boring than sheep?” says GS&P copywriter Lennie Galloway. “We also saw a statistic that domestic livestock outweigh all wildlife on earth by a significant margin. Lastly, it’s a subtle play on ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

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