Volvo: 'Birdman'

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Grey London has created a new film in its ‘Defiant Pioneers’ series, this time celebrating the work of one of the world’s leading conservation biologists. 

Set in Wales and on the beautiful island of Mauritius, the film confronts the damage humans have done to the planet, and highlights the work of one individual who wants to “make the world a more magical, complex and beautiful place.”

Professor Carl Jones MBE – “The Birdman” in the film – has helped to save five bird species from extinction, as well as three reptiles, a fruit bat and several plants. He is best known for his work in conserving the Mauritius kestrel which at one point had just four individuals left in the world. 

The film starts by depicting Jones as a young man, marvelling at his beautiful surroundings and the beauty of the kestrel in the open sky. When you get to know an animal really well, he says, “You can actually enter its world, you start feeling the wind on your skin, it’s like seeing the world in technicolour. You become alive.”

But that beauty is threatened because climate change is robbing the world of its biodiversity, it’s only natural defence against rising carbon levels. However, Welsh-born Jones holds on to “tremendous hope for the future,” and recognises that “only one species can fix it.” 

In 2016 Jones won the Indianapolis Prize, widely regarded as the Nobel Prize for conservation. He is Chief Scientist of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and founding member of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.

The film is the centrepiece of a wider campaign that will run across TV, VOD and social in the UK, and is part of a partnership Volvo Car UK have with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, supporting their projects that work to 're-wild' our world. Media planning and buying is by Mindshare, with support on social by digital agency Mediablaze. 

Durrell works worldwide in its mission to save species from extinction, with a focus on long term restoration of ecosystems; helping to absorb CO2, taking it out of the atmosphere.

The partnership with Durrell and its re-wilding projects is another practical step by Volvo Cars to help safeguard and improve our natural world, alongside its aims to reduce the carbon footprint per car by 40% by 2025, for climate neutrality across its manufacturing network by 2025 and to be a climate neutral company by 2040.

This is the seventh episode in Volvo Car UK and Grey London’s long established ‘Defiant Pioneers’ series, which focuses on the people who are pioneering innovations out of a passion for improving lives and benefitting the world around them.


Grey London is an open and diverse crew of thinkers, dreamers and doers on a mission to become the most progressive, creative agency in the world.