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The Carrot Blog

At Carrot, we're pretty lucky to work with brands we know well and love... to the point that we're almost spoiled. Passion is a strong catalyst for producing innovative and smart work, and it's what fuels everything from the POVs we write to the campaigns we launch. It's not often though that our work evokes such a strong connection that we turn into advocates of a cause. But, that's exactly what's happened as we tackled the lofty issue of saving elephants.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) came to us with a noble, yet intimidating goal: save the African elephant. Who doesn't love elephants? They're smart, fun, and adorable animals. Personally, they're my favorite. So, when I heard about a "project with elephants," I immediately jumped on the opportunity.

Looking back, I'm a little embarrassed that my love for elephants fell short of actually knowing the real danger they face. In 1980, the African continent had a population of 1.2 million elephants. **Today, there are less than 420k.** Poaching causes a vicious cycle where demand for ivory is so high that an African poacher can earn enough money to support their family for life by killing just one elephant. Armed with these astonishing facts, Carrot set out to create an awareness campaign with TNC.

#SAVEELEPHANTS aims to bring together those who will help TNC tackle this problem head on. The founding partner, Martin Guitars is one of the first brands to eliminate the use of ivory in their fret boards. And then, there's YOU.

A tweet or a Facebook share for a cause is hardly a substitute for action, but it can create a powerful impetus to ignite change. So go on and check out our beautiful site (nature.org/elephants) and see how you can make a difference and help save the African elephant.

The Site

Several amazing organizations are wildly passionate about spreading the word about the harmful effects of elephant poaching; but, sadly, this is often portrayed with depressing images of slaughtered elephants. The Nature Conservancy had only one request when it came to the creative tone of the campaign: don't make it depressing. You will never see a dead elephant anywhere on this site, and it's for a good reason: TNC is a results-based organization that focuses on ways to make the situation at hand better.

UX:

Design: We paid special attention to design direction of this site, since it's often easy to portray Africa in a very specific way. We drew our inspiration from the kanga garments worn in the African Great Lakes region, as well as from the colorful beaded necklaces. The site features hand-lettering, custom animations, photography from TNC, hand sketched doodles and icons.

A focal point of the site is the shareables section where visitors are encouraged to share elephant posts across social media. There's GIFs, hand-lettering and beautiful photography. Due to the modular nature of the site, we integrated thoughtful transitions from one section to the next. And, the header you see at the top of the page is actually a combination of three different videos, color graded to ensure they all have the same look and feel.

Dev: This was the first client project to utilize the most recent version of Roots, an open source static front end build system that's super intuitive, not to mention fast. We also wrote a library called Skrilla (again, open sourced) that allows us to build complex animations, while maintaining modularity and flexibility. It also lets us restack elements easily.

We typically employ our custom share button on our sites, but it doesn't support outdated browsers, so we built a new one to support IE8.

And (unsurprisingly), the site is fully optimized for mobile.

#SAVEELEPHANTS!