Animal rights is one of the world’s most hotly debated topics, drawing in major organisations like the WWF (no not the wrestlers) and their legions of celebrity endorsers such as David Attenborough and Ricky Gervais. By far the most effective way to get a message across is through striking, visceral visuals, which these designers use to powerful effect…

1. “Stop the Party” – AnimaNaturalis

seal clubbed

AnimaNaturalis is an international non-profit organisation based in Spain with a history of  animal rights campaigns that speak volumes, such as their gruesome Empathetic Poaching ads. This campaign focuses on a greyhound and a seal (above) interpreted as piñatas. This poster juxtaposes the brutality of seal clubbing with the luxury products made from their fur and blubber.

2. “Animals Are Not Clowns” – Acçåo Animal and LDPA

animals are not clowns

A combined campaign from two Portuguese animal rights organisations: Acçåo Animal and Liga Portuguesa dos Direitos do Animal (LDPA), these posters campaign against the use of animals as circus performers. Check out the original copy written by Hidden Persuader:

“Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls for the crack of the whip against the animal’s stinging wounds. A big round of applause for the flaming hoops, the injuries and the electric shocks. Come and see the famed number of cages and tightly binding chains allowing no escape from endless training sessions. Laugh, applaud and join in with the repetitive choreographed routines typical of depressed animals under great stress. Animal circuses, don’t be part of the show”

3. “Every 60 Seconds…” – Bund


Bund, Friends of the Earth in Germany, ran this print advertising campaign to remind readers about the high extinction rate.  Showing endangered animals about to be crushed by clock hands highlights the rate at which species die out – one every 60 seconds. The campaign won a Golden Press Lion for illustration at Cannes International Festival of Creativity (2011).

4. “If You Don’t Pick It Up…” – Endangered Wildlife Trust


Run in 2009 by the Endangered Wildlife Trust, this campaign tackles one of the most serious problems affecting our planet: waste. This advertisement uses a grim, unsettling image to provoke guilt in the audience and inspire the audience to think about where their litter goes after they drop it.

5. “Still Want Some?” – TRAFFIC


This advert was displayed in Vietnam, 2014. Sponsored by TRAFFIC (a U.K based group that monitors the international wildlife trade), the aim was to persuade current or would-be consumers in the area that rhino horn – contrary to local lore – has no magical healing benefits.

6. “Soccer” – Animal Anti-Cruelty League


The Animal Anti-Cruelty League published this advertisement to coincide with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. This advert tackles animal cruelty to dogs, making the viewer question their own impulse to run up and kick the ‘ball’ once they realise what it is.

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