Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Cute' chimps in ads may harm the species' survival

Date:
October 13, 2011
Source:
Duke University
Summary:
Television ads featuring cute chimpanzees wearing human clothes are likely to distort the public's perception of the endangered animals and hinder conservation efforts, according to researchers.

Television ads featuring cute chimpanzees wearing human clothes are likely to distort the public's perception of the endangered animals and hinder conservation efforts, according to a team of primatologists and a marketing professor at Duke University.

Related Articles


The researchers showed 165 study participants three different collections of television ads for products like toothpaste and soft drinks and then surveyed them to see whether attitudes toward conservation changed. One group saw a serious conservation message from Jane Goodall in the collection of ads. A second saw footage of chimps in the wild. And a third group saw chimps dressed as humans in ads for Career Builder, E*trade and Spirit Bank that were intended to be humorous.

"We were testing the argument that the entertainment industry has made that exposure to chimpanzees in human settings makes people more sympathetic to their plight," said Brian Hare, an assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke. "In fact, the opposite is true. We found people became less concerned about the risks chimpanzees face after they'd seen the entertainment clips."

Part of the issue also is that entertainment chimps tend to be younger, smaller animals, not adult animals who become dangerous pets, Hare said. "We can't say it enough: chimpanzees are not pets."

The perception that chimpanzees can be pets, and possibly the appearance of these ads in African media, may help create a market for young animals destined for the pet trade, Hare said.

In addition to the survey of their attitudes, participants were also given the opportunity to purchase one of the products they had seen or to contribute a part of their compensation for the experiment to a conservation charity. Those who watched the entertainment chimpanzees were least likely to donate.

"Nobody has measured this sort of thing before, but it clearly shows that the portrayal of endangered species on television can alter viewers' behaviors and decrease one's willingness to donate," said graduate student Kara Schroepfer. "This is a clear indication that we need to reevaluate media practices and conservation priorities."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kara K. Schroepfer, Alexandra G. Rosati, Tanya Chartrand, Brian Hare. Use of “Entertainment” Chimpanzees in Commercials Distorts Public Perception Regarding Their Conservation Status. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (10): e26048 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026048

Cite This Page:

Duke University. "'Cute' chimps in ads may harm the species' survival." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012185621.htm>.
Duke University. (2011, October 13). 'Cute' chimps in ads may harm the species' survival. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012185621.htm
Duke University. "'Cute' chimps in ads may harm the species' survival." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012185621.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins