Behavioural communications agency HeyHuman has unveiled a series of immersive installations to promote the SEA LIFE Trust’s (SEA LIFE’s partner charity) world-first beluga whale conservation project, giving visitors the opportunity to step through the glass into their underwater world and get to know the belugas. The installations are live in fifteen different centres across six countries, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Australia, the United States, Iceland and Germany.
The SEA LIFE Trust has transported two beluga Whales from a Shanghai aquarium to Iceland, in a complex journey which has taken over 6,000 miles and required numerous experts to oversee the pre, in-flight, and post-flight care of the whales. With a generous donation from Merlin Entertainments (owners of SEA LIFE), The Trust has secured an open-water bay off the southern coast of Iceland for the whales to inhabit – the world’s first open-water beluga whale sanctuary.
HeyHuman was tasked with getting SEA LIFE’S visitors to form an emotional connection with the two beluga whales, telling their story through a fun experience which inspires visitors to Sea Life centres to learn more about the project. The agency delivered on this brief by creating a series of multisensory, 360 degree underwater experiences that demonstrated the trust’s commitment to animal welfare.
Visitors are invited to step inside a dome, where they are instantly transported into the whales’ natural world, through a CGI projection which has been developed by The Mill. The experience is supported by a free standing information pod, which introduces Little Grey and Little White and details the key stages in their journey to their new home. It also encourages visitors to donate to the ongoing rehabilitation of the whales, which will include buying food for them in the years to come.
Rita Marcal, global senior brand manager at SEA LIFE, says: “Since SEA LIFE’s launch in 1979, we have stayed true to the fact that we do not believe in keeping cetaceans in captivity. We’re incredibly proud to deliver a world-first with this project, and we wanted to celebrate this amazing story through engaging, educational experiences. The team at HeyHuman have been perfect partners to help make this a reality.”
Liz Richardson, managing partner at HeyHuman, adds: “Our focus was to deliver a series of global, immersive experiences that would really bring to life SEA LIFE Trust’s investment in the welfare of the belugas, and the trust’s wider conservation efforts. We wanted to inspire SEA LIFE visitors to form an emotional connection to the two beluga whales, by giving them the opportunity to experience an underwater world. These experiences reflect the ambition of the conservation project, and offer a fascinating window into the extraordinary journey that has been taken by the whales.”
The installations are now open to the public with SEA LIFE Centres in 15 sites globally, all displaying the work. Smaller versions of the installation, supported by the donation element, is rolling out in an additional 26 sites.