Hermit crabs are always on the lookout for a new home that is bigger and better suited for their needs. Unfortunately, due to environmental degradation, many hermit crabs find themselves living in trash, such as plastic bottle caps, since the perfect shell is hard to find. This is where Japanese real estate company Suumo steps in. In a brilliant ad campaign, titled Shell We Move?, the company teamed up with the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology in order to develop the perfect house for the tiny crustaceans.
Professor Katsuyi Hamasaki at the university says that the hermit crabs of Japan are always short of shells. This housing crisis was the main focus for the professor and students at the university as well as the people at Suumo. Together they developed an artificial shell that was anatomically suited for hermit crabs, light, and environmentally friendly. The shells are bright green and stamped with Suumo’s logo across the back and made of potato starch, which has zero impact on the environment.
When the shells were ready to be tested to see if they were up to standards for the professional house hunters, they were placed on the sandy beaches to await the scrutiny of the discerning hermit crabs. Luckily, all that time put into the design paid off and the little green shells were a hit. Now, hermit crabs found on the shores of Japan are housed in the perfect home provided by Suumo. The ingenious marketing campaign was not only successful, it also provided an environmental service.