SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium Opens with a Splash

Identity’s integrated communications program leads to one of the most successful grand openings in SEA LIFE’s history.

Our Approach

Merlin Entertainments needed a Michigan-based communications agency to introduce the SEA LIFE brand to the southeast Michigan community, to tell the brand’s story in a compelling, relatable way that built excitement and to inspire the community to purchase tickets in advance of the grand opening on January 29, 2015. The company had developed a promotional roadmap anchored by five key construction milestones and needed an innovative, locally connected team to make it come to life.

Identity optimized and leveraged Merlin’s proven promotional framework with insight into the needs and preferences of the local community, as well as our team’s proven expertise with media relations, social media and event management, to generate a high volume of media coverage and social media engagement that shared the SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium story, engaged all target audiences in active, uplifting conversation and drove significant ticket sales.

Merlin Entertainments’ corporate team shared with Identity that the SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium grand opening was the company’s strongest U.S. attraction opening to date (out of seven total U.S. attractions) and have since utilized media coverage secured by Identity as best-practice examples in Merlin Entertainments media training. Additionally, SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium’s Facebook channel surpassed all other United States attractions’ “like” totals as of March 2015, after being open to the public for only two months.

kids looking at sea creatures

What We Did

Identity deployed the following strategies and tactics in order to achieve success:

  • Media Relations & Marketing

    • Media Relations
    • Media Training
    • Event Coordination
    • Video Creation
  • Social Media

    • Community Management
    • Social Customer Service
    • Blogger and Influencer Relations
    • Social Advertising


  • 5Milestone events giving the community and media sneak peeks
  • 383TV broadcast, print, radio segments and online broadcast segments secured
  • 67Blog posts generated by influencer partnerships
  • 40,000New Facebook likes generated