Ocean Futures Society and Sprout Partner to Create Social Media Application to Raise Awareness About Toxic Flame Retardants

Santa Barbara, CA - June 8, 2009 – When Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society needed to raise awareness and donations for its campaign against toxic flame retardants, it turned to Sprout, the leader in social media strategy and campaigns. Their strategy was to use brand advocates to spread the message to friends and networks who have likely never heard of the Ocean Futures Society or the problems facing the world’s oceans. To succeed, they needed a social media strategy.

“This is our first foray into social media and we are excited to find new ways to reach out and share our news and highlight important causes,” said Jean-Michel Cousteau, President, Ocean Futures Society. “Since this crisis required immediate attention, we had to work quickly to get information on the Web within our budget. Our approach included a Twitter program and social media campaign created with Sprout Builder. We were thrilled to see the depth of the social media campaign Sprout was able to build with its engagement platform and are already seeing great results.”

The Sprout campaign allows end users to create an underwater adventure using assets provided by the Ocean Futures Society, in addition to user generated content. As visitors to the site create their adventure, they can learn about the Cousteau divers, sea life, dive equipment and more. “The Sprout campaign is interactive and fun. I hope it inspires people to make a difference in their own lives and share the experience with others,” said Jean-Michel Cousteau at Ocean Futures Society.

The campaign launched on Earth Day to coincide with the release of the Call of the Killer Whale, the latest entry in his environmental series Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures, which appears on PBS. During the filming of this special, now available on the PBS Web site, the crew became aware of the dangers of toxic flame retardants and decided they had to act. They are hoping the campaign will drive people to donate money through the website and to help pass Senate Bill 772, which has already been well received by the community thanks to an early Earth Day appearance by Jean-Michel Cousteau and his two adult children, Fabien and Céline Cousteau on the TODAY Show.

“We are really pleased that the Ocean Futures Society turned to us to help with their social media efforts,” said Carnet Williams, CEO of Sprout. “We strongly believe it is within each of our power to make a difference on the Earth and using social media is a great way to raise awareness for a very important cause.”

The Ocean Futures Society social media campaign created by Sprout is available HERE. For more information about toxic flame retardants, please visit http://www.toxicflameretardants.org.

About Ocean Futures Society

Ocean Futures Society (OFS) is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization. With the motto, “Protect the ocean and you protect yourself,” the mission of OFS is to explore our global ocean, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection, documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean's vital importance to the survival of all life on our planet. OFS is based in Santa Barbara, California, with offices in Paris, France; Lucca, Italy; and São Paulo, Brazil. For more information, visit http://www.oceanfutures.org.

About Sprout

Sprout helps brands develop and deploy engagement campaigns across diverse social networks. The Sprout platform solves a problem that has been plaguing new media marketers for years—How to quickly create brand experiences that are easily transportable across Facebook, MySpace and other social networks without having to find and hire expensive development resources. With Sprout, agencies and brands can create rich experiences that marry brand assets with UGC to capture social gestures and allow advocates to share their experiences with friends. Funded by Polaris Venture Partners, Sprout is based in Honolulu, HI and San Francisco, CA. To learn more, please visit http://http://sproutinc.com.