This Canadian Jeweler Celebrated a Penguin Love Affair By Making a Seafood Necklace

Beyond the cute factor, the stunt also raises awareness for an endangered species

The stunt has garnered nearly 170,000 views on Facebook alone.

A necklace makes a great gift for lovebirds, but this one seems kind of fishy. That’s probably because it’s made of actual fish—mackerel, squid and various crustaceans. But that’s OK, because the lovebirds in question are actual birds: a mated pair of endangered African penguins named Chupa and Ellie, who live at the Toronto Zoo.

Chupa delivered a gift of freshly picked grass back to the couple’s love nest in a clip the zoo posted a few days ago. Naturally, Ellie was thrilled. What young bride wouldn’t be?

But Canadian retailer Peoples Jewellers thought Chupa needed a little help for a grand display of affection and promptly turned the feathered love affair into a high-flying promotional opportunity (even if penguins can’t fly). 

The Fish Necklace

On Monday, The Toronto Zoo posted a video about Chupa and Ellie, two endangered African Penguins, who are true lovebirds! So we decided to make them something really special, something only a penguin would love. We worked with sushi chef Kazuki Uchigoshi from Miku Restaurant Toronto to craft this one-of-a-kind necklace made from mackerel, squid and various crustaceans that we know penguins like to eat. We're also making a donation to the Toronto Zoo African penguin program to help protect penguins in the future. Love like this should last forever. Hope you like it Chupa and Ellie! #LovePeoples #PeoplesLovesLovebirds

Posted by Peoples Jewellers on Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Peoples teamed up with sushi chef Kazuki Uchigoshi of Toronto restaurant Miku to create the necklace from seafood that penguins love to eat, blasting the results across social media. “Our company’s mission is to celebrate life and express love—all types of love,” said Peoples vice president of marketing John McNamara.

Truly the perfect gift: A fashion accessory and a cozy (theoretically candlelit) dinner for two!

Along with touting Peoples, the initiative raises awareness for African penguins, a rapidly dwindling species that could go extinct before too long. According to Public Radio International, by 2000, the number of African penguins along the coasts of South Africa and Namibia had dropped from several million to 200,000. By 2010, that population had fallen to just 55,000. 

“We’re big fans of responding to things that are taking place in the real world,” say Ryan Spelliscy, creative chief at ad shop Juliet, which helped develop the campaign. “The response doesn’t need to be supported by a massive media spend. Sometimes, it’s just about joining a conversation in a smart, fun way.”

The stunt has garnered nearly 170,000 views on Facebook alone (gotta love those amorous bird-gurgles)—and both Peoples and Miku have made donations to the Toronto Zoo’s African penguin program. If you feel moved to toss in a few clams, Chupa and Ellie would probably love you for it.

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