Heal the Bay burst into the public’s consciousness in early 1988, shortly after the creation of the fishbones logo and our aquarium/store in the brand new, Gehry-designed Santa Monica Place. Heal the Bay sold more t-shirts that one summer than every year since.
Shortly thereafter, Heal the Bay reached out to Venice-based advertising agency Chiat Day, to develop an advertising campaign to reach everyone in the LA region. The multi-media campaign included billboards, television public service announcements (PSA), and movie trailer spots. The theme of the campaign centered on how we have all been mistreating the ocean. The dramatic juxtaposition of old Super 8 home movies with the voice of a clearly hurt ocean made us realize that the ocean provides us with so much joy that we should treat it with reverence and respect. The outdoor campaign used the tag line, “Leave your children something to remember you by. Join Heal the Bay”.
By the end of the campaign’s run, nearly everyone in town knew Heal the Bay. No environmental group had ever placed an ad as a movie trailer before. The spot caught the attention of both the public and the media. There were many people responsible for Heal the Bay’s seminal ad campaign. The producer of the PSA, the larger-than-life Chuck Sloan, founder of Plum Productions, generously donated the entire production cost of the spot. Without Chuck, there would have been no spot and who knows whether or not Heal the Bay would have grown into the environmental advocacy and education group that it is today.
I hadn’t heard from Chuck for many years until an old friend informed me of the sad news. Last week, Chuck passed away while swimming in the beautiful ocean waters of the British Virgin Islands. Despite everything that transpired in his life since those days when Chuck helped put Heal the Bay on the map, he still loved the ocean and loved the environment. And he definitely left his children, and many other children, something to remember him by