The Dodo is a media brand that leverages the viral potential of animal content, and connects it to a movement to make caring about animals a mainstream cause through highly engaging, inspirational content. Our goal is to entertain, make people feel connected to animals, make viewers feel good about the world, and have an impact.
Six months after launching as a publisher on the Snapchat Discover platform, we learned that our young audience cares deeply about wildlife and wants to take action when it comes to substantive, important issues like trafficking and poaching. They have a desire to learn and an even bigger desire to get involved with animal welfare issues. Utilizing these learnings, The Dodo saw an opportunity to produce a special edition that focused specifically on one of these issues: the plight of the white tiger. We published "The Disturbing Truth About White Tigers" with the goal of educating our audience about the complicated, tragic reality of white tigers — animals who are widely admired, but very misunderstood. We highlighted their origins, the shadowy business that produces them and the severe health problems that result from inbreeding and lifetimes spent in captivity.
Our white tiger edition is a special feature highlighting the plight of white tigers — demonstrating that their exotic appeal isn't the whole story. Behind the intrigue of white tigers is a dark history spearheaded by an unethical industry that sets out to breed and keep them in captivity. In the edition, we illustrate this to our audience by detailing the origins of white tigers and how they have become a money-making commodity; and we connect our users emotionally through profiles of individual white tigers affected by this cruel industry.
While storyboarding, our Snapchat team grappled with a few vital questions: How do we talk about the issues related to white tigers in a way that's relatable, informative and makes our viewers feel empowered by, with clear takeaways and actionable next steps? How do we accomplish all of this in a smart, beautiful and engaging way that is unique to The Dodo and Discover?
We worked on a script that broke down "The Disturbing Truth About White Tigers" into segments (11 snaps total) with the intention of taking our viewers through a comprehensive journey: an introduction acknowledging that, behind the beauty and popularity of these tigers, there is an ugly reality (3 snaps), the health problems associated with breeding white tigers, which include scoliosis, crossed eyes and shorter lifespans (1 snap), a swipe-up article profiling the life of a white tiger named Kenny who was fortunate enough to live the rest of his life out at a sanctuary (2 snaps), an illustration showing how all white tigers originate from a single cub (1 snap), the gene responsible for white tigers' unique coloring (1 snap), how people throw down a lot of money for them (1 snap), and a swipe-up article profiling four white tigers in captivity who haven't seen the sun in 12 years (2 snaps).
We knew it would be unrealistic to provide a single solution for ending the business of white tigers in captivity. Instead, to conclude the story, we offered a list of sanctuaries for viewers to support as an alternative to zoos and other animal attractions — which felt like the most achievable next step for a conscientious viewer to take.
Design-wise, the edition consisted of primarily top snaps to make all of this information quick and easy to digest. To stand out and feel cohesive, we created custom designs and animations, which are clean and minimalist in their aesthetic to help keep the message clear and uncluttered. We used bold typography as title treatment for the edition, which we repeated throughout, anchoring all the info around the subject of white tigers. The typeface had a sense of gravity and matched the serious tone we aimed for. Overall, "The Disturbing Truth About White Tigers" was meant to look authoritative, striking and memorable.
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