THE WORLD'S FIRST SHARK DETECTING OCEAN BUOY

 

In collaboration with Optus and Google we were the concept team that conceived and launched Clever Buoy.

Optus is Australia’s second largest mobile network, however most people think the market leader’s coverage is much larger, when in fact the difference is less than one percent. Our task was to improve consumer awareness and brand perception, by changing the nation's focus from the size of the Optus Network, to the amazing things it can do.
 

Solution - Clever Buoy. A smart ocean buoy that detects sharks and sends real-time alerts to lifeguards via the Optus Network.

 

AN UNLIKELY OPPORTUNITY


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Australia has the most fatal shark attacks in the world, four times more than any other country, Surprisingly, despite significant advances in technology, Australia’s shark defence methods haven’t changed much in over 60 years.

  • Shark nets - 40% of sharks are caught on the beach side of the nets. The trapping of endangered species and entangling of other marine animals such as whales and dolphins is a major issue.

  • Aerial patrols - A recent government led inquiry revealed they were “expensive and inefficient”. Only one in eight sharks at patrolled beaches are spotted.

  • Detection by eye - Lifeguards often rely on eyesight, binoculars and those in the water to raise the alarm. In conditions where every second counts.

  • Shark cull - In 2013/14 the Western Australia government sanctioned the culling of all large sharks, sparking mass protest from the public. Over 170 large sharks were killed.

What if we could use the power of the Optus Network to help solve one of Australia’s most controversial problems? One that would not only protect our beach goers but also our sharks.

Traditionally sharks are difficult to detect using sonar and no accurate detection technology existed anywhere in the world. So we developed a world first detection method specifically calibrated to hunt for the shark’s unique movement and wake. This is how the buoy determines sharks from other large marine life.

 

THE TECH


Similar to facial recognition technology the Clever Buoy software becomes more accurate with each confirmed detection, as it learns the tiny intricacies of shark’s swimming patterns. Once a shark has been detected, a real-time message is transferred via the Optus Inmarsat satellite to the lifeguard towers. This data is also shared with scientists and researchers in real-time through our bespoke app.

Clever Buoy systems will be bespoke to every beach. An array of sonar heads are connected on the sea bed to a single buoy. The number of sonar heads depends on the length and shape of the beach. Each sonar head has an angled projection, meaning that the sonar heads overlap to form a complete perimeter.

 

TESTING


 

WEBSITE / BRANDING


 

RESULTS


Combined Social & PR Reach +70 million

84% Positive sentiment towards the Optus brand

Featured in over 800 global news stories

$7M Earned PR / Advertising value.

92% Share of voice in relation to #innovation and #technology during launch

Launch film had over 3 million impressions

NSW Government currently testing on Bondi Beach

WA Government purchased four Clever Buoy systems for public beaches

First breakthrough in shark detection technology in over 60 years

New innovation division created within Optus

Listed on the ASX

Now travels around the world protecting surfers as part of the World Surfing League

Adopted on beaches in both Cape Town and California

Winner of over 70 International creative awards.

 


"THIS IS NOT AN AD CAMPAIGN, IT'S TAKING OUR BUSINESS TO A WHOLE OTHER PLACE. AND THAT'S WHY WORK LIKE THIS WILL CHANGE THE WORLD."

NATHAN ROSENBERG, OPTUS HEAD OF BRAND.