CELEBRITY TO THE RESCUE: Cate Blanchett will be standing up for our very own Mary River turtle in a new 'Save Ugly' campaign promoted by the Wilderness Society.
CELEBRITY TO THE RESCUE: Cate Blanchett will be standing up for our very own Mary River turtle in a new 'Save Ugly' campaign promoted by the Wilderness Society. Contributed

SAVE UGLY: Hollywood superstar to rescue of Mary River icon

IN WHAT may be her most challenging role yet, internationally celebrated Aussie actor Cate Blanchett plays Gympie's very own "ugly” green-haired bum-breathing Mary River turtle.

The endangered Mary River turtle, which breathes through its nether regions, was one of the important species that prompted environmental concerns, ultimately leading to the scrapping of the Traveston Crossing dam.

The famous Aussie actor turned Hollywood star plays the part of the bum-breathing Mary River turtle in the new star-studded "Save Ugly” marketing campaign from The Wilderness Society.

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The Save Ugly campaign has been lauded by the marketing industry as an innovative and very different promotion to generate sympathy for the creatures that might not look like Hollywood stars, but which are still vitally important to the world's ecosystems.

Cate Blanchett as a Mary River turtle (left) and Rosario Dawson as a phytoplankton-sipping Australian ethmia clytodoxa moth. They star in a four-minute musical comedy video featuring puppet creatures, whacky and naughty lyrics and use of dollops of whale poo.
Cate Blanchett as a Mary River turtle (left) and Rosario Dawson as a phytoplankton-sipping Australian ethmia clytodoxa moth. They star in a four-minute musical comedy video featuring puppet creatures, whacky and naughty lyrics and use of dollops of whale poo. SUPPLIED

The campaign has initially taken the form of a three-minute comedy music video, aimed at encouraging Australians to extend their environmental sympathies to the ugly side of nature.

The Wilderness Society says its campaign will not focus on conventionally promoted spcies such as pandas, whales and tigers, but will emphasise "the bits that aren't so beautiful.”

"Our research shows people do care about the environment, but their concern is latent,” says Wilderness Society Australia's national creative and communications director Rob Beamish.

Mr Beamish is quoted in an article by Josh Loh in the latest edition of the Marketing Australia blog, Marketing.

Cate Blanchett during filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks in London, to be aired on BBC One.
Cate Blanchett during filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks in London, to be aired on BBC One. Isabel Infantes

Mr Beamish says the campaign has two objectives - to save specific "ugly” species and to promote the conservation movement overall.

"There's an emotional bias about green groups in people's minds that hinders our ability to engage the mainstream,” he says.

"These challenges have called for a fresh approach that grabs people's attention and makes the message super-sticky,” Mr Beamish said.

The three-minute video stars American actor Rosario Dawson as an ethmia clytodoxa moth, alongside Ms Blanchett as a "Mary River turtle which breathes through its genitals and Teresa Palmer as a southern right whale, the faeces of which provides nutrition for phytoplankton and other ocean life.

Marketing reports the film was produced by New Zealand director Zoe Bell, who is probably better known for her role as Uma Thurman's stunt double in Kill Bill.

Also starring in the video are Joel Edgerton as ghost shark, Caludia O'Doherty as phyoplankton, Eric Thomson as a south-eastern long-eared bat, Samara Weaving as ghost bat and Dan Whyllie as a giant Gippsland earthworm.

Gympie Times


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