The Salmon Project: Man holding a salmon in a yellow jacket

Explore Diverse Opinions

In Alaska, nearly everyone cares – deeply – about salmon. And naturally everyone, from subsistence fishers to commercial to recreational users, has strong opinions on the topic.

But when it comes to short- or long-term priorities for salmon’s protection and use, they don’t always agree.

Spawn Ideas was called upon to understand how Alaskans could come together despite these differences to share ideas for protecting salmon and ensuring that it remains a thriving resource for the next 100 years. Project partners included research group DHM, PR partner Thompson & Co., technology strategists Design PT and web programmers at ThinkShout.

The Salmon Project
Salmon Love lips and salmon logo


Research showed that all of the divergent opinions were based on a powerful interest in, and connection to, salmon. So Spawn’s focus was on building on that shared emotion as a foundation for working together, even when Alaskans disagreed.

Salmon Love came from that insight: The theme emphasized that a connection to salmon runs deep in all Alaskans and created a platform for reflection, communication, sharing and increased understanding.

The website and campaign highlighted connections to the wild Alaska salmon resource in numerous meaningful ways, from cultural and economic to environmental and subsistence perspectives.

Make Engaging Fun

The first priority was to encourage a relaxed and open feeling around the topic. So we created several waves of engagement to make taking part in the campaign fun. Our first tactic was an online Salmon Love quiz, which measured the size of participants’ love for the resource. The quiz quickly converted audiences primed to be in a playing mode to giving and sharing modes – patterns associated with support and expression.

This compelling content created an audience of willing and proud Alaskans who celebrated salmon connections. Importantly, it also collected contact information for future communications.

Salmon Love Sweepstakes Example Work
The Salmon Project: Website and Mobile Design
The Salmon Project: Salmon Love Quiz and Sweepstakes
The Salmon Project T-Shirt
More Salmon Love
Sustained by Salmon graphic

Keep Momentum Going

As the campaign’s audience grew, other tactics followed, including a haiku contest on social media and a signature storytelling event. An additional effort was launched to capture Salmon Love stories from subsistence and commercial fishermen, acknowledging their connection to the resource and its sustaining role in their lives.

Finally, long-form videos were created to educate the community about salmon sustainability efforts, big and small, happening all around them to protect habitats and ecosystems.

Keep Reeling Them In

Alaskans showed time and again that they were willing and proud to share and celebrate their connection to salmon. Starting with 10,000 quiz takers in that first campaign, today more than 40,000 have engaged with Salmon Love. The Salmon Project maintains a vibrant social media platform today, encouraging users to continue to work together to protect a critical shared resource.


Spawn Ideas and several partners launched The Salmon Project: DHM Research, Thompson & Company, Design PT and ThinkShout.