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Geometry brings Colombian fruit to Chinese market to protect endangered animals

Illegal wildlife trafficking has prevailed for centuries and today reaches an estimated market value of USD 19 billion. The demand for aphrodisiacs containing these ingredients is one of the drivers of this trade and has clearly led to the poaching of endangered animals and plants, many of which risk extinction.

China is a significant consumer of these aphrodisiacs, the ingredients for which are sourced from all over the world. Hong Kong is no exception either, with both its own local demand and as a gateway to China.

The Colombian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development became aware of the demand for its own wildlife species and wanted to stop this illegal activity. So they turned to Geometry Global Colombia, their partner agency since 2014. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, WildBond Hong Kong, a conservation group dedicated to protecting endangered species, was looking for ways to reduce the demand for wildlife aphrodisiac products.

Geometry Colombia and Hong Kong decided to take on this and took a novel approach. Instead of trying to change the behaviour of the poachers, they would change the behaviour of the consumers by subtly redirecting them towards sustainable and environmentally friendly products.

And Colombia has the perfect sustainable ingredient: the Chontaduro fruit, known as ‘Nature’s Viagra’ is believed to have powerful aphrodisiac powers and has been used for centuries by the Afro-Colombian communities of the Pacific Coast of Colombia.

Bringing in Geometry’s two offices and WildBond Hong Kong, Geometry Global embarked on a complex project to invent new products with this fruit and create a new brand that would appeal to the Chinese buyer of erotic merchandise and aphrodisiacs. The Hong Kong team transcreated the original myth of Colombian fruit for the Chinese audience, explored the channels and the trade, led brand identity and packaging design, and identified the best possible formulations needed for these channels.

Multiple products were developed including massage oil, candles, and an energy drink, and marketed under a provocative Chinese brand name (She Shou Tao, or ‘Orgasmic Peach’) with a compelling package design to suit this unique sales channel.

The products are available in select adult shops and massage parlors in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China. To date, 500 kilos of chontaduro have been used to produce massage oil (sold 3500 bottles), candles (sold 800 units), and an energy drink (sold 3,000 bottles).

Gabriel Vallejo, former Colombian Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, said, “On the fauna traffic matter, we are attacking the source of the problem by eradicating the behaviour.”

Juliàn Hernandez, ECD Geometry Global Hong Kong added, “Wildlife traffic is a global issue that requires global thinking. That’s why we’re thrilled with this collaboration, that has given us the chance to invent new products, a new brand, and craft an effective marketing and distribution strategy in China with the goal of saving endangered animals across the globe, while supporting farming communities in Colombia. It is indeed a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Edwin Pineda, ECD Geometry Global Colombia commented, “As an agency we focus on changing behavior. In this case we realised that it would be nearly impossible to change the behavior of illegal traffickers. So instead we focused on getting the buyers to switch brands at the moment of purchase. What a beautiful problem to solve!”