When the Mississippi Aquarium announced its plans to open in 2019 in the City of Gulfport, MESH was the agency chosen to create the brand and lead all marketing and communication efforts. As we moved into phase 1 of the project, I was brought in to develop the Voice and Tone guide and define the brand essence. The challenge was to create a messaging matrix that would raise awareness and rally support in the Gulf Coast community while simultaneously changing the perception of those critical of the project who claim that the aquarium is a "waste of tax dollars" or "never going to happen." Once I completed the verbal design, I moved forward with writing for the brand on social media, digital video, out of home promotions, the microsite and radio spots–all under the "Aquatic Wonders of the Gulf" campaign.
The brand voice is not scholarly or too technical. It is not cold, corporate or insincere. It doesn’t try too hard to be funny or smart. It does not lecture. It has not forgotten how to be a kid. It isn’t small or limited. It is not pompous or arrogant, crass, stiff, overly business-y, or devoid of wit. It isn’t shy or withdrawn.
For us, discovery is at the heart of the Mississippi Aquarium. It’s a place that offers the unique and often rare opportunity to be fascinated. It’s a place to be playful and even let your mind wander from one experience to another. We’re creating a feeling of discovery that can be shared. We want to provide the kind of discovery that touches the heart and opens the mind for all who visit. We know it’s not enough for visitors to only learn about nature, but leave the Aquarium with an experience that’s engaging, inspiring and motivates them to take an active role in protecting the coast’s natural beauty.
The voice of the Mississippi Aquarium is exciting and educational.
It speaks from a place of passion and purpose that encourages discovery and conservation. It is a teacher, with the goal to create a better future for the environment – today, tomorrow and every day going forward. It is approachable and enchanting, in an exciting way. It is a window to the waters of Mississippi, the Gulf Coast and beyond. It captures the spirit of wonder and adventure to unveil the Gulf Coast's next great era of discovery. It inspires guests to learn and explore the majestic environments while playing an active role in conservation and research.