70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

Penguin Promises – What were the results?

Penguin Promises – What were the results?

Judy Mann*^, Gabby Harris*, Roy Ballantyne^ & Jan Packer^

SAAMBR*, South Africa and University of Queensland^, Australia


Our Challenge

To design a behaviour change campaign for an aquarium that would encourage visitors to increase their environmentally responsible behaviour at home.

Our Solution – Penguin Promises

Visitors were encouraged to ‘Make a Promise to the Penguins’ during their visit to uShaka Sea World, Durban, South Africa. A promise was a commitment by visitors to make one change in their daily lives to become more environmentally responsible. Visitors were then asked to hand write  their behaviour change promise on a post card and post it on site. The campaign focused on love not loss with the tag line  ‘We don’t want your money honey, we want your love’.

Why African penguins?

The African penguin is endangered in the wild. uShaka Sea World has a thriving African Penguin breeding colony. Visitors love penguins.

Was the campaign successful?

Visitors who completed a card were contacted a year or more after their visit and asked about the outcomes of their promise. The results (N=316) showed that 49.4% of respondents could give an example of something positive they had done for the environment, that they attributed to the campaign.

What did we learn?

By working out what encouraged visitors to make and keep their promises, this study provided us with a number of important principles that should be considered in the design of future environmental behaviour change campaigns at nature based tourism facilities.

View the results infographic pdf