Innovation That Matters

Environmental guerilla marketing

Advertising & Marketing

Japanese real estate listings company sponsors an environmental research project that aims to create more shells for hermit crabs.

The housing crisis has hit many extremely hard, apparently even the hermit crab. Environmental degradation in Japan has created a shortage of shells for these creatures, forcing many hermit crabs to ‘move into’ plastic bottle tops and other kinds of waste. Now, a collaboration between Japanese real estate listings company, Suumo, and marine biologists has resulted in a solution.

According to professor Katsuyuki Hamasaki, an expert in all things hermit crab, they are “professional house hunters” who are forever outgrowing their shells and moving house, seeking the perfect home. As a result, he explains, they are always short of shells. Hamasaki teamed up with Suumo and a group of students at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology to create shells for the crabs. The replacement shells are designed to be light and comfortable for their inhabitants. Made from potato starch, the green shells have zero impact on the environment.

Although essentially the project has been a highly successful marketing campaign for Suumo, the idea that CSR programmes make use of a company’s core skills in order to contribute in a more meaningful way, is an interesting one. Springwise recently wrote about a creative agency using click bait headlines to support charitable causes. Will we be seeing more creative brand messages of this kind?



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