Born Free Foun­da­tion: Life in lock­down video campaign

Exhibited by
Fatima Talidi-Marrero
August 05, 2021
Medium of Communication
Video, digital
Target Audience
All donors
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
24 July 2020

SOFII’s view

This campaign, that Fatima celebrated en route to the ‘final’ of IWITOT 2021 UK & Europe, is a real heart-winner, we think you’ll agree. In a beautifully simple video, the Born Free Foundation and legendary Aardman Animations lent the voices of humans stuck in lockdown to animated animals. The resulting film shines a bright light on how horrible it must be for animals to live constantly in captivity. While the charity could possibly have made more of what is a brilliant video (and hopefully will in the months to come!), there’s no doubting the emotional punch it packs and it’s clear why so many IWITOT attendees loved it.


Born Free rescue vulnerable wild animals from appalling conditions where they have been confined, exploited, or abused. They rehabilitate them and, whenever possible, release them back into the wild. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the collapse in international wildlife tourism meant that funding for conservation had been badly hit. Born Free used this opportunity to try and raise awareness and donations.

Summary / objectives

In 2020, Born Free partnered with Aardman Animations (creators of Wallace & Gromit) to create a film in which they used real people’s experiences of temporary lockdown to highlight the lives of wild animals forced to live under lock and key every day. 

Creator / originator

The Born Free Foundation and Aardman Animation.

Special characteristics

The film draws a parallel between the struggles faced by humans during lockdown and the impoverished lives of wild animals in captivity. The film uses interviews from people across the UK that were recorded during the peak of lockdown, and from a range of ages. And people interviewed weren’t told what the film was for, and it wasn’t scripted, making it all the more authentic.

Watch the film here:


The campaign was very topical – Born Free tuned into public awareness during the pandemic, when everyone was in lockdown, meaning that the general public could really relate to animals for whom lockdown is a daily reality that never ends.  It’s a really simple idea, but very clever. We all knew (or hoped!) that lockdown would end for us sometime, but for these animals, lockdown never ends.

Influence / impact

The film was promoted on Facebook and Twitter, and started many conversations on this issue, including a retweet from Tiger King’s Carol Baskin!

Born Free asked people to like and share on Twitter and Facebook and used the campaign on their donate and campaigning web pages, which was great. At the end of the campaigning page, they included options to watch the film, find out more and donate, as well as sharing on Twitter and Facebook.


The campaign clearly wasn’t set up with a focused fundraising ask integrated into the campaign. So far, the charity has only been able to link a small amount of income directly to this film.

Born Free could have raised money by using the animals more. They could have included the animals in the next instalment to help explain why funding was needed during the pandemic and they could have used them to help explain how funding for conservation was at an all-time low.

But the good news is that Born Free now have plans to do so much more and really capitalise on this idea to drive viewers to donate.

The film has been shortlisted for a Cannes Lion Award. The team at Born Free plan to use this in their marketing and will promote the film again with the aim of generating social media engagements and donations.

Fatima's presentation

Like what you see... and want more inspiration?

If you loved this presentation from Fatima, why not watch the whole of IWITOT 2021 UK & Europe? If you missed the live event, don’t worry, the complete recording is still available to buy for just £25. Simply click here. Thank you! 

Born Free teamed up with renowned animation studio Aardman to create their advert.
Born Free displayed a mastery of online platforms like Facebook to get the word out
Their tweets even attracted attention – and retweets – from celebrities like Carole Baskin and Greta Thunberg.