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Special Project

Special Project

The Wild Algorithm (Reset)

Entered in Animal Rights & Welfare, Instagram



Wild animal trafficking in Brazil has seen a tremendous increase in recent years. Ampara is the largest and most important animal protection and defence organization in Brazil, recognized by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice as a OSCIP (Civil Society Organization of Public Interest). Its goal is to change society by taking action to support, educate, and raise awareness aboutanimal rights.


Come up with an original idea to help alleviate the problem of wild animal trafficking.


Wild animals are popular! They make great content. Many people spend countless hours onTikTok and Instagram liking and sharing videos and photos of wild animals. A large portion ofwhich includes content of wildlife that has been humanized or raised as pets.


Raise awareness of the issue and help Ampara play a part in the reduction of animal trafficking


Most advertising is about increasing purchase intent––but our goal was the exact opposite.To decrease people’s willingness to buy trafficked wildlife, first we had to verify the connection between social media posts and the trafficking market itself (a two-year data collection andanalysis undertaking).

Then we had to:

Call attention to the problem

Reset the social media algorithm that was fueling the increase

Introducing The Wild Algorithm (Reset)

We launched a data-driven social-first campaign, highlighting the cause-and-effect, and encouraging people to reset their social algorithms with a 4-step process, to be part of the solution.

An exhibition in São Paulo, showing trafficked animal images on phones trapped in trafficking cages, drove interest in the issue and offered sharable content.

Then, on National Animals Day, we launched the Wild Algorithm Reset, enlisting some of Brazil’s biggest influencers to spread the simple process to effectively reset the problematic algorithm.



We wanted to find out whether wild animals on social media were having any kind ofmeasurable effect on the illegal trafficking market, and we needed the data to prove it.  We started by scouring Instagram and TikTok for content that featured domesticated wildanimals, and tracked engagement they generated over two years.Then we used Google to access the level of demand for wild animals, decoding search trends and calculating precise day-by-day measures.  The connection between social media and trafficking was clear and indisputable. Amongst other key data points, 37% of searches for monkey purchases and 18% of searches for snake purchases were directly generated by Instagram content. Once we firmly established the connection, we needed to

1.) call attention to the problem

2.) reset the algorithm fueling this increase in trafficking

Most advertising is about increasing purchase intent––our goal was the exact opposite.


To gain immediate attention for the campaign launch, we created an exhibition in one of São Paulo’s busiest areas, where we installed real cages used by traffickers with mobile phones trapped inside that showed wild animals in social media posts. As well as capturing passers-by, this provided sharable content that was used to raise awareness of the issue on social.

Then, on National Animals Day, on March 14th, we launched the Wild Algorithm Reset with the help of some of Brazil’s biggest influencers truly committed to the cause and Ampara across numerous verticals, including Porta dos Fundos, João Vicente, Sabrina Sato, Thaila Ayala, Ana Hickman, Paolla Oliveira, and others. Our influencer set had some 106 million followers between them.They reached out to their followers to spread the word about a simple process that anyone could use to effectively reset the problematic algorithm. Campaign on-going at the point of submission.


This revelation this trade is happening in plain sight was understood by a mix of factors: the complexities of internal law, the challenge of tracing animal origins and a trafficker's ability toremain anonymous amidst a sea of online activity–all underpinned by a risk so low it barelyregistered on the scale of a global crime, yet profits soar.

This phenomenon is not limited to the animals included in the campaign (monkeys, parrots and snakes). We educated people that what they liked and followed on social media had a significant impacton contributing to the increase in trafficking.

The campaign led to some extraordinary outcomes for the cause:

12.1 million people re-educated their algorithms

111 million total impressions

A two fold increase in conversations and mentions related to animal trafficking in Brazil,

A significant global reduction in searches for purchasing intent:  15% less for monkeys, 6% for parrots, and 5% for snakes

A 12% decrease in engagement with social media videos featuring wild animals on Instagram.

Furthermore, heightened public and political awareness led to a series of law enforcement actions.


Video for The Wild Algorithm (Reset)

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Edelman Spain, Ampara


Entry Credits