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Ocean Blue. Australia's favourite fancy fish.

James Needham

There’s plenty of fish in the sea of sameness that is the FMCG category, so Ocean Blue, Australia’s no.1 smoked salmon brand, needed to cut through to differentiate its positioning in the minds of consumers.

3 min read

Partnering with SDWM to help Ocean Blue become the #1 top-of-mind smoked salmon brand meant developing a unique, motivating and ownable positioning in the market.

But increasing frequency and loyalty in the salmon shopper’s repertoire is challenging when the usual trip to the salmon fridge results in a sleep-shopping moment:

“Salmon…smoked…blue…healthy…Tassie…price…blue…Omega…local…special…what’s that one? Oh, I’ll just get this…”

The category makes any smoked salmon choice feel permissible because they all look and speak the same. Rather than trying to rationally wake people from their sleep shopping, we needed to short-circuit people’s salmon decision-making with a fun, emotional truth that made people smile and reach for us.

Real Challenge

Make Ocean Blue the most known, loved and chosen brand in the category.

The Strategy

Position Ocean Blue as the everyday quality smoked salmon you deserve more often.

Alongside a new packaging launch, we needed to bring to life an “Ocean Blue Feeling” that could deliver across a number of key strategic imperatives:

  • Celebrates the raw emotional love of Ocean Blue salmon (alone or shared)
  • Elevates the Ocean Blue name as the category thought leader
  • Speaks to the purity of Ocean Blue’s product
  • Can inspire serving suggestions for product, packaging and promotions
  • Creates permission to enjoy a healthy indulgence every day

Our tone was a critical element in bringing the brand to life in a distinctive way.

Straight Talking – We’re confident and say it like it is and don’t make any apologies.
Dry Wit – We see the light side of life and enjoy playing around.
Refreshing – We have a unique take on the world and love to share it.
Relatable – We’re like an old friend you can say anything to (no judgment here)


The campaign tested strongly in pre-campaign quant and has helped Ocean Blue grow its leadership position in the category.

“The beauty of the opportunity with Ocean Blue was to start fresh. To create a brand that’s bold, confident and clean, and naturally engaging in an FMCG world that can be far too functional.”
James Orr, Creative Director & Founder, SICKDOGWOLFMAN

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James Needham

→ Over 20 years experience across APAC and the UK helping redefine some of the world’s most iconic and effective brands, and leading complex research and segmentation projects from Budget Direct, Big4, Crime Stoppers, RACV and CommBank.

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Read James