Protecting Elephants using Google AdWords


Cruelty to animals is a problem worldwide, yet it is something that is not clearly understood by the thousands of tourists who are looking for a unique experience, such as riding an elephant. To increase awareness about cruelty to the elephants that are used as tourist rides, a London charity, World Animal Protection, set up a fake travel Web site to highlight the issue.

The site is found when tourists Google “elephant rides.” Using Google AdWords, the first site (listed as an “Ad”) seems legitimate, but viewing the video provides a shock. The viewer learns how baby elephants are ripped from their families, then tortured, broken, and trained to provide tourist rides. Once the video has been viewed, a link is provided to the World Animal Protection organization where visitors are encouraged to donate to the cause. After viewing the video, no one will never again take animal experiences at face-value.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss social and corporate responsibility, particularly with regards to animal protection.
  2. Have students Google “elephant rides.” The first response on the list is an ad for “Authentic elephant rides.” Click on it – and then view the video. (This site is fictional.)
  3. View the video and Web site:
  4. Also view the site for World Animal Protection:
  5. Discuss the effectiveness of this approach. Have students develop similar ideas for social causes.

Source: Source: Ad Age Daily

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