Getting ‘Schooled’ At The Monterey Bay Aquarium Interactive Experience

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is among the top aquariums in the U.S., participates in a series of outdoor events and festivals every summer in order to boost brand awareness and attendance at its facility. The aquarium’s iconic ‘Bait Ball’ tank — where a school of 16,000 sardines swarm in unison to create the appearance of one large creature — served as the inspiration for a beautiful ‘Bait Ball’ interactive experience, displayed at festivals throughout Northern California.

bluemedia acquisition, Digital Media Etc., worked closely with the aquarium on storyboarding and styling the Bait Ball interaction and functionality. They then developed a rich touchscreen experience which invited users to interact with thousands of digital sardines as they darted and dashed all over a giant mobile screen. Users could control the bait ball on a 75-inch touchscreen, customize its shape, and share their bait ball formation over social media as a short video. To help ensure the exhibit’s portability, the touchscreen and dome were powered by solar energy — removing the need to connect to local electricity sources.

To complement the interactive experience, other elements were added to the mobile exhibit, including a large branded dome to house the giant interactive screen, and brand ambassadors who helped to manage crowds, lines, and hand out Monterey Bay Aquarium promotional merchandise.

The interactive experience was successfully deployed at 10 events and festivals in 30 days. The event was a huge success for everyone involved and the incredible reactions and responses from event attendees cemented the concept as a genuine crowd-pleaser at future events.



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The interactive experience was successfully deployed at 10 events and festivals across Northern CA in just 30 days

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16,000 digital sardines were created to swarm in unison and take on the appearance of one large creature

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