Challenge: There are 17,000 species at risk of extinction around the world; more than 100 of those live in Russia. To help save and protect these animals, World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Russia must continually build awareness of their plight. We created a campaign that paired endangered species with another dying breed: 404 ‘Page Not Found’ error messages. Users who visited bad or mistyped links on Odnoklassniki (a Russian social networking site) would be shown an image of an endangered species with a message that the animal was in danger of “not existing”. Much like the page they themselves were hoping to visit. This surprising and powerful connection got the attention of a wide audience across all of Russia.
Solution: We partnered with social networking site Odnoklassniki, one of the country’s most highly trafficked websites, to replace common 404 ‘Not Found’ pages with images of endangered species. An accompanying message explained that each animal was in danger of ‘not existing,’ much like the page itself. The message invited the user to learn more or donate to WWF Russia. The campaign entitled, ‘Rare Page,’ came at no media cost to the client, saving WWF more than $200,000.
Results: Over 680,000 unique users each month find our 404 pages on Odnoklassniki. Of those, roughly 70,000 people have visited the WWF group and 35,000 people have registered to join their group. We’ve seen an uptick in donations, compared to other campaigns. 0.42% of people who click through to the WWF site (from the 404 pages) make a donation. This is nearly 3X the average conversion for WWF, which is usually around 0.15%. Our idea also resulted in 50+ mentions in global media. We estimate that over 40M have seen our project and message. All for $0 cost to WWF Russia.