“Er… what?” you might well think at this point. Well, back in 2007 Greenpeace launched a Great Whale Trail Expedition designed to raise awareness about the Japanese Fisheries Agency’s desire to slake the nation’s lust for delicious fish meat. Basically they were after catching 50 humpback whales. Wanting to raise public awareness about all this, Greenpeace decided to run a poll on their site where the public could vote for the name of a giant humpback whale. This made the whole thing a personalising technique with the stunning creatures, you see. 30 names were selected, and one amongst the lot stood out. You can probably guess what the name was. It wasn’t long before popular social media sites reddit, BoingBoing, and Digg clocked onto the name, and once they did all hell broke loose. Votes on Greenpeace’s site for “Mr. Splashy Pants” soared in just 24 hours, and then Facebook got in on the act with a “Vote your conscience, vote Splashy Pants” campaign.
Many environmental causes complained about the condescending tone of the whole affair. Regardless, on December 10th 2007, the name stormed the results with 150,000 votes. “Humphrey” was the nearest rival claiming some 4,329 votes, whilst others such as Aiko, Libertad, Mira, and Shanti scraped together 1% of the total votes. Rather than get a big miffed about this, Greenpeace embraced Mr. Splashy Pants and it ran at the centre of their campaign. This added publicity forced the Japanese to back off, and Mr. Splashy Pants the humpback whale currently resides, untroubled by Japanese harpoons, in the South Pacific Ocean. Bless. You can see reddit’s logo above, and may we close by stating All Hail Mr. Splashy Pants!