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Viral anti-duck hunting campaign created in-house challenges Dumb Ways to Die as one of region’s most watched videos

A video created inhouse by an animal rights charity in Australia is looking like challenging McCann Melbourne’s viral hit Dumb Ways to Die as one of the region’s most viewed pieces of brand content.

The three-minute video created by Animals Australia to oppose duck hunting has been watched 89 million times around the world in 10 days. It was made without a dedicated marketing team.

The film uses a series of clips of people helping ducks with the aim of bypassing the usual style of showing the impact of human cruelty on animals.

Speaking to Mumbrella’s Australian site about the video’s success, the group’s creative director Karen Nilsen said: “It was off the back of a joint campaign we ran with RSPCA Victoria and 54 other organisations to try and send a message to the Victorian Labor party to remind them that Victorians want an end to duck shooting.

“Duck shooting is a heavy, distressing topic and the reason it is banned in three states is because of cruelty and we could have gone out and reminded everyone about how cruel and brutal this so-called spot is. But instead we thought well what if we turn that around and instead remind people that it’s in our nature to inherently be kind, and the way people respond to seeing acts of kindness really exemplifies that.”

Uploaded to Facebook on November 17, Nilsen said “In the first few days it was gaining about a million viewers every hour, which was insane.”

“That’s tapered off now,” she laughed. “We’re approaching 90 million at the moment.”

On producing the video, Nilsen said staff members stayed behind at the end of a work day to source the clips.

“One evening at the end of our workday a few people in our office did some googling and found some beautiful examples of people rescuing ducks from precarious situations.”

The video had the aim of reminding Victorian Labor that animals should be treated with compassion and kindness, Nilsen explained.

“We put together a series of these beautiful clips with a kind message at the end, if you’re smiling its because this is the way we should be treating animals and it’s time to step up and treat them all that way.”

The video is shaping up to be Australia’s most viral ad since Dumb Ways to Die, which garnered 2.3m views in just 48 hours, and has since had 92 million views on its official channel, and millions more on other channels.

Miranda Ward

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