As issues like climate change, deforestation and water scarcity heat up, so too doe the plight of animals. In fact, there are more than 27,000 species threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN Red List, that is more than 27 percent of all assessed species. To bring awareness to threatened species, brands have been using their marketing bullhorn to share the message – from Lacoste’s decision to replace its iconic crocodile with 10 endangered species on its polo shirt, to The Body Shop’s use of Tinder to raise awareness for its Bio-Bridges program by asking users to help Reggie, a Red Shanked Douc monkey, find love. Now, a natural partnership has formed between two organizations looking to protect our world’s feathered friends.
Shoe brand Allbirds recently formed a partnership with nonprofit The Audubon Society to launch a limited-edition bird-inspired shoe collection. The collection, aimed at raising awareness for birds “whose existence is threatened by climate change,” features five Allbirds shoes, each representing a different threatened bird species. Consumers can purchase the shoe for $95, with all proceeds going to The Audubon Society. To build momentum for the launch, Allbirds and The Audobon society implemented a branded content campaign on The New York Times online to share “why our future may depend on the fate of birds.” The interactive webpage features information on how birds preserve our ecosystems – like how the Pygmy Nuthatch helps curb greenhouse gas emissions – bird songs and tips for what we can all do to help. The campaign also aligns with Allbirds extensive commitment to the environment, including a recent announcement that it will implement a self-imposed carbon tax.
The Allbirds partnership with The Audubon Society represents just the latest iteration in a tried and true cause marketing model. However, both brands authentic ties to the issue – and each other – make the campaign resonate. As co-founders and co-CEOs of Allbirds, Joey Zwillinger and Tim Brown, stated in a recent press release about the launch, "Allbirds and Audubon are tightly aligned in our shared commitment to preserving nature.”