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RCU celebrates Arabian Leopard Day in a new campaign

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) in Saudi Arabia launched ‘The Journey of Hope’ campaign to celebrate the second annual Arabian Leopard Day 2023.

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The Journey of Hope is a campaign conceptualised by Impact BBDO and intends to bring awareness about this critically endangered species. The initiative is named after an Arabian Leopard cub, Amal (Arabic for Hope) that was born under the conservation program of the Royal Commission for AlUla in Saudi Arabia.

Arabian Leopards are a critically endangered species, and it is estimated that there are fewer than 200 in the wild. To raise awareness and inspire support for the species, Saudi Arabia designated 10th February as Arabian Leopard Day. On this day RCU continues to pursue the conservation of this species and has launched a new campaign, conceptualised by Impact BBDO, called the Journey of Hope, part of a bigger celebration of this year’s Arabian Leopard Week.

RCU has undertaken a comprehensive conservation plan to save this species, and a breeding centre has been updated as part of the rehabilitation programme, where four healthy Arabian Leopards have been born since 2021. In 2022 a cub was born and named Amal, which translates to hope in English, to bring a new light of hope for this species. The Journey of Hope campaign is named after Amal.

The agency, Impact BBDO, was tasked with creating a campaign celebrating the 2023 Arabian Leopard Day. To mark the occasion, the agency designed a new emblem that celebrates this heritage animal and shares the story of the Arabian Leopard with the rest of the world. This unique bilingual emblem was designed to be universally understood both in English and Arabic. The emblem is part of a film that is displayed in significant outdoor locations including Piccadilly in London and NASDAQ in New York City, spreading international awareness.

As a part of the celebrations, an augmented-reality (AR) Snapchat lens was also released, showing a simulated Arabian Leopard roaming the spectacular Hegra landmark Tomb of Lihyan Son of Kuza (also known as Qasr Al Farid).

Dr. Stephen Browne, Wildlife & Natural Heritage executive director at RCU, said: “There are fewer Arabian Leopards left in the wild (about 200) than there are spots on one leopard’s coat (about 800). Regional and even international cooperation is essential as we restore habitat, return native species to the wild and operate conservation-breeding programmes. This campaign for the second annual Arabian Leopard Day builds awareness today to influence actions tomorrow.”

“We found our inspiration in ‘Amal’, a cub born at the Royal Commission of AlUla’s breeding centers, who continues a journey of hope for the species. We created an emblem for this campaign. To make both the languages visible at the same time, we designed an emblem that blends the two words together in Arabic and English to create a beacon of hope, bridging the language gap, so that the message of hope for Arabian leopards could journey across the world,” said Rana Sadek, creative director, Impact BBDO.