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The New England Aquarium's ad campaign for the
Turtle's Uncovered: Get Beneath the Shell program
features unexpected turtle images.

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Aquarium photo contest to reveal the reptiles all around us

BOSTON. Most Bostonians usually see turtles at the New England Aquarium, but a new aquarium ad campaign and contest suggests that turtles can be seen in many of the objects all around us. Some of the remarkable likenesses of turtles used in a new marketing campaign include a stunning close-up of two water droplets on a leaf, a landscape shot of a rock formation in canyon country, and an image of the nose of a commercial jet emerging from behind an immense water tower. Though none of the objects were living, they were all undeniably turtles! Now, the Aquarium wants to know “Where do you see turtles?”

If you have ever been accused of having an overactive imagination or are secretly a turtle nerd, we know that many members of the public do see turtles in their everyday lives. To give that turtle talent an outlet, the Aquarium is running an online photo contest for your unorthodox images of the lovable reptiles. The winner and two friends will have the opportunity to meet and feed Myrtle, the Aquarium’s 560-pound green sea turtle. This up-close encounter will be part of a special behind-the-scenes tour of how the Aquarium cares for both its resident and rescued sea turtles. Two runners-up will receive four packs of tickets to both the Aquarium and the Simons IMAX Theatre.

The contest is part of new program being launched for December school vacation called “Turtles Uncovered – Get Beneath the Shell.” The program highlights the Aquarium’s outstanding collection of sea turtles from its 250-pound loggerhead sea turtles to its vitally important rescue work with hypothermic sea turtles found on Cape Cod.

The ad campaign also includes online video animations that feature iconic wintry images of a snowman, cup of cocoa, and snow-covered car morphing into sea turtles. To view all of the print and video images, visit the Mullen website.

The Aquarium’s winter marketing effort is the creation of Mullen, the Boston-based advertising agency. The visually clever and engaging turtle campaign is in the same spirit as Mullen’s work promoting the Aquarium’s shark program earlier this year. This past summer, Boston taxis were topped with shark fins, print ads showed shark teeth adorning the Hatch Shell, and there was even an online video of a shark following a Duck Boat down the freshwater Charles River.

“The campaign creates an element of surprise around the familiar and likeable sea turtle,” said Drayton Martin, senior vice president and group account director at Mullen. “We’re trying to get people to pause a moment and think that there may be more to learn about these popular and intriguing sea creatures. We want them to smile when they see the ads and consider a trip to the Aquarium to view the turtles in new and different ways.”

“Mullen’s ‘Where do you see turtles’ campaign is eye-catching and engaging. Their creative is just brilliant,” said Jane Wolfson, the Aquarium’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “We are excited to use this advertising campaign as another way to connect Bostonians and visitors to the Aquarium's efforts to make sea life part of all of our daily lives."

The Aquarium will accept submissions of "turtle" photographs through January 9th.


Tony LaCasse, New England Aquarium, 617-877-6871,
David Swaebe, Mullen, 978-468-8932,