Translating our passion into moving work

When Alaskans talk about salmon, we don’t just talk about a fish. We tell tales of adventure, of history, of hope –we tell stories about life. These stories are set on riverbanks and in urban streams, they take place on the deck of boats and around family dinner tables. Our stories are as different as we are, but each one has something in common: Salmon Love.

Element recognized the importance of celebrating these connections, and worked with our client, The Salmon Project, to design an immersive storytelling campaign to unite and bond Alaskans through their love of our favorite fish.

The campaign featured writers, photographers, and filmmakers from across Alaska, all passionate about salmon, sharing their own voices and the stories of other salmon lovers and activists. In all, we crafted more than 50 gorgeous, moving stories of the Alaska Salmon Life, covering every region in our state, through themes that bind Alaskans and our values.

User experience at its best

Every good story needs a good home. Our stories can be explored through our own custom designed and developed website, SalmonLife.org. This website showcases our vibrant photography and beautiful narratives, while easily allowing the reader to move through the stories with searchable terms, tags, and clear themes.

We focused our design and development on an immersive user experience. We wanted a clear structure for the stories that gave the user ample navigation options, with an easy to read layout scheme that brought the photography front and center.

Another main effort of the campaign was to show the diversity and breadth of Salmon Life narratives. Our goal was to show Alaskans that while fishing methods and geographies may vary, we share a lot in common when we speak in values and feelings. By building the story categories around personal interest, we can highlight a wider spectrum of the Salmon Life, transcending the individual experience of preferred fishing methods or familiar locations.

By categorizing and tagging the stories, viewers have the freedom to experience the stories by personal interest. We also took special care to place navigation options on every page so viewers can go anywhere in the least amount of clicks, and incorporated the use of categories, tags, and a search function to give the audience the freedom to explore. The result? The stories are super navigable and the campaign is more captivating.

The power of a good story

SalmonLife.org is a curated collection of beautiful stories and photography, but the real power lies in the sharing and reach of the stories themselves. Our individual stories were shared by real Alaskans on Facebook and Instagram over 30k times and had over 200k measurable reactions. Our campaign hashtag, #salmonlife, has been used more than 10k times on Instagram alone. The numbers are testament to the power of a good story and good creative.

Another notable takeaway of this campaign is the high number of Alaskans who shared their own Salmon Life story, and the thousands who declared their life a Salmon Life. These personal connections were the ultimate goal of the project: by celebrating our individual, diverse and varied connections to salmon, we are ultimately uniting Alaskans in their bond over this precious resource, and preserving the Alaska Salmon Life.

To experience the campaign, visit SalmonLife.org or follow along on the Element-managed Salmon Life Instagram account, @aksalmonproject.

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