Sightings of an Orangutan on London’s South bank were bound to create a stir. Worry not though, London Zoo does not have a run-away chimp on its hands. The displaced ape was actually part of the supermarket chain, Iceland’s Christmas campaign. The stunt was staged using animatronics to highlight the retailer offering the choice of Christmas without palm oil. The ultra-realistic ape, controlled both remotely and via a specialist puppeteer, made its way across the capital in search of somewhere to call home.
This campaign followed public criticism of Clearcast’s decision to ban Iceland’s Christmas advert on the grounds of it being too political – this hasn’t stopped it racking up millions of views online. Iceland Managing Director Richard Walker said: “Our stranded, distressed Orangutan is a stark and potent symbol of the effects of deforestation. We always try to give people a real choice about what they buy, and this was a key driver in our decision to allow Iceland customers to join us in saying ‘no to palm oil’.”
The campaign makes it clear that it is possible to reduce the demand for palm oil by seeking alternative ingredient solutions, whilst also gaining international recognition for Iceland in the process.