A groundbreaking campaign was launched in Viet Nam in 2014 on World Rhino Day to promote the importance of individual character, determination and will as the secrets to success. The "Strength of Chi" campaign is based on the concept of "Chi" ("Will") within Vietnamese culture, signifying the power of what lies within.
The Chi campaign promotes the notion that success, masculinity and good luck flow from an individual’s internal strength of character and refutes the view that these traits come from a piece of horn.
"The most charismatic and successful men create their own good fortune," is the essence of the campaign.
"The Chi campaign is a new approach to tackling the illegal practice of buying and using rhino horn and reinforces the leadership shown by Viet Nam to proactively reduce illegal trade and consumption of rhino horn and fulfill its obligations under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)", said Dr Naomi Doak, Coordinator of TRAFFIC’s Greater Mekong Programme.
"The global decline of rhino populations is of grave concern and impacts natural ecosystems, deprives local communities of their livelihoods and only serves to line the pockets of criminals," Dr Doak added.
Developed by TRAFFIC in partnership with PSI—a global social marketing organization—the Chi campaign represents best practices in behavior change communication techniques, including use of multiple communication channels to target urban men aged 35-50 in the two main cities of Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi.
"Using local insights, values and creative approaches, the Chi campaign celebrates the significance of the Chi concept within Vietnamese culture, and promotes the reality that dynamic and impressive individuals do not need a piece of horn to prove their prosperity, luck or strength," says Josselyn Neukom, Country Director of PSI.
Results from a number of independent focus groups indicate that messaging created exclusively for the "Chi" campaign will resonate with the target group and also have a profound effect in reshaping public views about use of Rhino Horn.
As Mr Long, a successful 45 year old businessman living in Hanoi explained, "I love the ‘Chí’ logo and tagline. It is extremely powerful. I get it and it’s very Vietnamese."
Another, 42 year old businessman from HCMC explained, "Since these concepts—power, charisma and luck—come from what I do myself, this campaign makes me feel good as a man."
Illegal wildlife trade remains one of the greatest threats to biodiversity with a number of the world’s iconic species currently facing unprecedented threats from poaching for illegal trade. Rhino poaching in South Africa has increased from 13 animals illegally killed in 2007 to 1004 in 2012, undermining government capacity and resources for protection.
"This campaign will motivate individuals from within the target consumer group to demonstrate to their peers that their success comes from within," said Huynh Tien Dung, Conservation Programme Manager from WWF-Viet Nam."