Newport Aquarium
“Journey of Survival”


CLIENT: Newport Aquarium
CAMPAIGN: Journey of Survival
EXHIBIT: New turtle exhibit
OBJECTIVE: Turn around three years of declining attendance

Our first campaign for Newport Aquarium was for a new turtle exhibit called Journey of Survival. The Aquarium had experienced three years of declining attendance and we were brought on board to reverse the attendance decline. We knew we had to re-capture the imagination of the local community and make them want to re-experience the Aquarium via its new turtle exhibit. We recommended positioning the exhibit as a temporary exhibit to help create a sense of urgency for visitors to see it. We worked closely with the Husbandry Department to develop the turtle exhibit’s big idea:

An exhibit so special, it’s been 200 million years in the making.

We divided the “Journey of Survival” campaign into four components and repurposed the elements – footage, photography and music – to save production costs and provide consistency.

A “teaser” campaign a month before the exhibit opened comprised of TV and outdoor to create anticipation in the market.


OUTDOOR (click to enlarge)

A “launch” campaign to tell the “Journey of Survival” story comprised of TV, outdoor, and print.


OUTDOOR (click to enlarge)

PRINT (click to enlarge)

A “they’re leaving” campaign to create a sense of urgency for families to visit the exhibit before it was gone. The campaign was comprised of TV, radio and outdoor.



Turtle Breakout – The Plan

OUTDOOR (click to enlarge)

And finally, to cap the exhibit’s closing, we conceived and created the Turtle Derby, a special event with discount admission. Turtles were provided by a local turtle rescue facility. They were all adopted out to qualified families. The Turtle Derby campaign was comprised of TV, transit, print and radio.

In our first year working with the Newport Aquarium, we turned around three years of declining attendance with a 20% attendance increase over its previous year and the second-highest attendance in the Aquarium’s history, nearly matching the attendance generated in their opening year.

The Mata Mata turtle commercial went on to win awards and be featured in the AZA Pizzazz reel of the Best Advertising of the Decade.