The International Tiger Project kicks off campaign amidst Tiger King social media craze

A group of people have been hypnotised to believe they are tigers in a campaign from the International Tiger Project and Leo Burnett Sydney, in order to spark empathy amongst the public and bring the plight of the species back into view.

Ian Broekhuizen, creative director at Leo Burnett, acknowledged the fortuitous timing of the campaign’s release given the social media attention that Netflix series, Tiger King, has attracted in recent months.


Creative director Malcolm Caldwell, added: “In the Netflix series, the characters seem to be getting all of the attention, so it’s nice to put the spotlight back on to the tigers themselves.”

The campaign draws on the insight that people donate more money when they feel empathy towards a cause.

The campaign aims to stimulate this empathy by putting humans in the place of the animals so they can see the true emotional effects of poaching. Hypnosis was settled on as a technique for the campaign in order to spark conversation. The range of empathy felt by viewers is affected by how open they are to believing hypnosis.

The hypnosis was done by Peter Powers, with a street casting of volunteers.

International Tiger Project founder and president, Leif Cocks, said: “At least one tiger a week is killed by poachers and sold to the illegal wildlife trade. Creating empathy between people and other living beings, especially those that are helpless and out of sight, is one of the most important, yet difficult things to achieve. If ‘The Empathy Experiment’ can open the viewer’s heart there’s a chance we can encourage them to make a real difference.”


Client: International Tiger Project
Founder & President: Leif Cocks
Philanthropy Manager: Marnie Frost
Development Director: Troy Kenah

Creative: Leo Burnett Sydney
CCO: Jason Williams
ECD: Andy Fergusson
ECD: Grant McAloon
ECD: Vince Lagana
Creative Director: Ian Broekhuizen
Creative Director: Malcolm Caldwell
Senior Art Director: Sharon Edmondston
Senior Copywriter: Misha McDonald
Chief Client Partner: Belinda Drew
Connections Strategist: Matt Chisholm
Senior Business Director: Samuel MacDonnell
PR Director: Sarah Rhodes
Senior Broadcast: Producer Tim Pietranski
BTS Content Shooter: Tommy Thoms

Production: FINCH
Director: Nic Finlayson
Producer: Karen Bryson
Managing Director: Corey Esse
Founder: Robert Galluzzo
Casting Director: Antonia Murphy, Fountainhead

Post Production: The Editors
Editor: David Whittaker
Grade: Yoomin Lee @ the editors
Exec Producer: Nicoletta Rousianos

Recording Studio: Song Zu
Creative Director: Ramesh Sathiah
Audio Producer: Meg Drummond

Media Agency: Zenith Media


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