theBlu: A Whale of A New Media Campaign


In fall 2011, a group of all-star animators, special effects designers and enthusiasts for earth’s greatest natural resource had a novel idea: bring about awareness of the ocean by re-creating the whole thing on the Web, replete with a virtual marketplace filled with different aquatic species. They called this re-creation — the first major collaborative project from Venice, CA’s Wemo Media — “theBlu.” With backers like Joi Ito (MIT Media Lab), Scott Yara, The Cove director Louie Psihoyos and some of the top animators and designers in film (Avatar, Fight Club), theBlu wasn’t lacking in star power, but it needed to find the kind of media outlets and social media most receptive to its private beta platform that could help propagate its message and ramp up interest.

In short, theBlu was desperately in need of creating a new media splash that was equal to the size of its ambition to become a cultural phenomenon like Nirvana’s Nevermind paired with the technological disruption of Google Earth.


Precise targeting of bloggers and online thought leaders across a variety of verticals, from environment and conservancy to technology and entertainment, with early access to the platform promised only to the most value-rich outlets.

Created social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) landing pages and executed a strategy for those pages, growing theBlu’s public fans and followers by thousands.

Follow-up with press attending the annual Consumer Electronics Show, and timing the announcement of the platform’s first significant round of funding with the annual trade show.

  • Coverage from the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, CNET, Forbes, VentureBeat, PCWorld and many other outlets.
  • Media exposure for theBlu culminated with a feature on the front page of the Saturday business section of the Los Angeles Times’ print edition.
  • theBlu was among the most successful new media ventures of the season, generating interest among its thousands-strong private beta “collaborative army” of artists, designers and other ocean enthusiasts.