Ocean Outdoor London


There are 62 captive orcas in the world, forced to live in cramped conditions and perform unnatural tricks at marine parks and aquariums. International wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation wanted a highly visual campaign to reinforce its mission to end the practice of keeping cetaceans in captivity.

Sometimes, the most powerful way to get a problem across is to show it to people in a way that's hard to ignore. Creating life-sized orcas on digital screens the same size as the tanks that many captive orcas are trapped in, allowed WCRS to do just that.

Making It Happen
Born Free Foundation marked World Orca Day on July 14 2017 with an integrated campaign which saw spectacular large-format, full-motion out-of-home screens transformed into virtual tanks.

#TankFree used CGI technology and visual effects from The Mill London to create a series of magnificent life-size animated orcas which the public were invited to set free from captivity and return to their natural habitats.

Over the course of World Orca Day supporters were asked to text small donations to Born Free. Each £5 received saw a captive orca "jump out" of the DOOH screen and swim through other nearby sites to freedom. Its escape signalled the arrival of another captive orca, which swam into the virtual tank, triggering the next round of donations.

#TankFree featured for the day across five "hero" city centre locations including Westfield Stratford, the Birmingham Media Eyes, Liverpool Media Wall, The Screen @Arndale in Manchester and St Enoch, Glasgow, from where the captive Orcas were freed. A further six Ocean Outdoor screens carried supporting graphics to raise awareness and donations on the same day.

Out of home, experiential and online activity was supported by Born Free celebrity patron Lady Victoria Hervey and the day's activities were promoted widely on social channels, using #TankFree to encourage engagement across the country.

Equating the screen size with the size of a tank was a powerful message, and the campaign was a beautiful use of creative out-of-home spaces: the connection, interaction and positive action all coinciding on one day.


o Born Free received 200 donations
o More than 135,000 people saw the adverts in person
o We reached more than 750,000 people through Facebook and Twitter
o There was a 4,000% increase in people visiting the Born Free website and pledging to not visit aquariums with captive orcas
o Orca adoptions rose by 500% during the day of the campaign


Ocean Outdoor digital creative competition


  • The Born Free FoundationClient
Annual 2018 Silver#TankFreeOOH Project featured: on 31st January 2018 Project featured: on 1st September 2020 Contributor:

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