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Sharks put a bit of bite into Aquarium's ads

One of the ads for the New England Aquarium's shark exhibit imagines the Hatch Shell as a sharp-toothed gaping mouth. One of the ads for the New England Aquarium's shark exhibit imagines the Hatch Shell as a sharp-toothed gaping mouth. (New England Aquarium)
Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Elizabeth Campbell
Globe Correspondent / July 1, 2008

Make way for sharks.

To promote an exhibit of sharks and rays that opens today, New England Aquarium is using billboards, posters, and signs that incorporate shark themes and some of Boston's most recognizable sites.

They are being featured on taxis and in subway stations, with about 140 at Park Street Station alone. For example, one shows a fin following ducklings in the Public Garden. Another adds shark teeth to the rim of the Hatch Memorial Shell, turning it into a gaping mouth.

"We tried to take some of the most iconic elements of Boston and combine them with the iconic elements of the shark," said Bud Ris, the aquarium's chief executive. "We really wanted to draw people to the aquarium to learn about sharks and rays and the important role they play in marine ecosystems."

In addition to the signs, the campaign - designed by the Mullen agency, of Wenham - includes a YouTube video of mock shark sightings in the Charles River.

The idea is to show the aquarium's sharks in a less menacing light, Ris said. The exhibit, called "Sharks & Rays Explore Their World," also includes a tank where visitors can touch small sharks and rays, as well as live animal presentations.

Entrance to the exhibit is included with admission to the aquarium.

Elizabeth Campbell can be reached at ecampbell@globe.com.

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