WWF ‘Twitter Ad’ Uses ‘X’ Rebranding as Climate Analogy

On August 1 2023, a Reddit account shared a purported World Wildlife Fund (WWF) advertisement to r/europe:

Alongside a post titled “‘Protect wildlife, before it’s too late’ WWF Deutschland campaign,” u/BkkGrl attached a small, square graphic. Against a blue background, Twitter’s evolving logos (through the “X” rebranding) appeared.

To the left of a small WWF panda logo, text in German read:


Google Translate converted the text to English as:


A reverse image search returned another iteration, this one shared to Reddit’s r/Marketingcurated on July 28 2023:

Neither variation linked to a source for the graphic; both posts were image-only submissions. A search for “WWF Twitter ad” returned a July 31 2023 article by marketing news site TheDrum.com, “WWF makes preservation point with nod to Twitter’s bird ‘Xtinction.'”

The Drum attributed the effort to advertising firm McCann Germany, adding:

The social media post on LinkedIn has been successful for the brand, with almost 20,000 reactions.

Capitalizing on all the chatter around Elon Musk rebranding Twitter to X, WWF is using the evolution of the bird logo to signify that some animals are heading for extinction if we don’t protect them.

We located the post on WWF Germany’s (WWF Deutschland) LinkedIn account; it was accessible in the organization’s general feed, but a LinkedIn account was required to view the post itself:

germany wwf twitter ad linkedin

On LinkedIn, the post rendered in German. Its text in German and Google Translate’s conversion were as follows:

???? Die ganze Welt trauert um den Twitter-Vogel. Dabei sind rund 1 Million echte Arten bedroht. Wir befinden uns heute im größten Artensterben seit dem Ende der Dinosaurierzeit. Ein Viertel der Säugetierarten, jede achte Vogelart, mehr als 30 Prozent der Haie und Rochen sowie 40 Prozent der Amphibienarten sind in Gefahr.
Hilf uns, die Tiere zu retten. ????

ℹ Mehr Infos: https://lnkd.in/epJgPQ6y

Eine Initiative vom WWF & McCann Germany.

#TwitterLogo #Artenschutz #Umweltschutz

???? The whole world is mourning the Twitter bird. Around 1 million real species are threatened. We are now in the midst of the greatest extinction since the end of the dinosaur age. A quarter of mammal species, one in eight bird species, more than 30 percent of sharks and rays and 40 percent of amphibian species are at risk.
Help us save the animals. ????

ℹ More information: https://lnkd.in/epJgPQ6y

An initiative by WWF & McCann Germany.

#TwitterLogo #protection of species #environmental protection

A shortened link appeared in the post, and it pointed to a May 2022 page titled “Artensterben,” or “Species extinction.” It also rendered in German, and an automatically translated version read in part:

Around a million species could disappear over the next few decades if our ecosystems continue to deteriorate.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) makes bad statements about the animal and plant species in the International Red List: Of the 147,500 species recorded, almost 41,500 are in threat categories (as of July 2022), which is more species than ever before. Alongside the climate crisis, species extinction is considered the greatest threat to our planet and our own lives.

A popular August 1 2023 Reddit post depicted a July 2023 WWF Germany advertisement based on Twitter’s then-recent rebranding to “X.” WWF Deutschland/WWF Germany published the graphic to LinkedIn in late July 2023. It was real and accurately described in the Reddit post embedded above.