The strategic talents of C+C  and the storytelling experts of Invisible Collective have unveiled the "Salmon Warriors" campaign for client Salmon Defense. This indigenous-led nonprofit is focused on protecting Pacific Northwest salmon, including by convening the Billy Frank Jr. Salmon Coalition, an unprecedented alliance of tribal leaders, environmental scientists, government agencies, recreational fisherman, conservation groups and Washington-based industry.

“These groups have sometimes been at odds with one another,” said Peggen Frank, executive director of Salmon Defense. “We have now all come together because we realize the status quo is not working and time is running out to recover our region’s dwindling salmon populations. Our campaign works to help Washingtonians feel that same urgency and motivate them to join the cause.”

Aimed at driving awareness and action, the recently aired campaign serves as a rallying cry for community involvement. In under four minutes, the film immerses its audience in the critical realities related to declining salmon runs, including habitat destruction, limited fishing opportunities, and the loss of a way of life for local tribes who have had relied on salmon for sustenance, culture and spirituality since time immemorial. 

Washington-born Sam Kelly Jr., served as the campaign's creative executive producer and director and played a pivotal role in shaping its marquee film from inception to post-production. Echoing the essence of environmental activism in the Pacific Northwest, "Salmon Warriors" weaves together the current calls to protect salmon with the legacy of Billy Frank Jr., a nationally recognized indigenous leader and salmon activist, in a powerful visual narrative that deeply connects with viewers. 

At the heart of the coalition are vital figures such as Willie Frank III, Nisqually Tribe chairman and son of Billy Frank Jr., Kadi Bizyayeva, a Stillaguamish Tribe leader and director of fisheries, and Glen Gobin, a Tulalip Tribes leader and lifelong fisherman. The coalition also notably includes Ron Garner, president of the Puget Sound Anglers state board and John Stark, a professor of ecotoxicology at Washington State University. The coalition showcases a united front and marks a historic collaboration, breaking decades of conflict between local tribes, fishing groups, state authorities and many others to preserve Washington's salmon,

The campaign film is deeply personal for director Sam Kelly Jr. and chairman Willie Frank III, both embodying the continuation of their father's legacies. Willie's father, the late Billy Frank Jr., was detained over 50 times in his efforts to assert tribal treaty fishing rights, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to the cause and environmental conservation. 

"Taking the helm of 'Salmon Warriors' was a profound responsibility, “ said Sam Kelly Jr. “It was about bridging our past with a vision for the future in honor of the legacy left by Willie's father, Billy Frank Jr., and, to an extent, even my Dad's.” Kelly's father, Samuel E. Kelly, founded the Office of Minority Affairs (now the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity) at the University of Washington. His work laid foundational changes in promoting diversity and inclusion within the university system, echoing the same spirit of advocacy and community engagement that "Salmon Warriors" embodies. 

The personal stories of the two sons, Willie Frank III and director Sam Kelly Jr., add a unique depth to the project.  "This campaign is our way of continuing our fathers’ vital work, using the power of visual storytelling to illuminate a path forward," reflects Kelly. Under Kelly’s direction, the Invisible crew leveraged their cinematic expertise to craft a campaign film with emotional depth and visual impact to engage and inspire people to take action.

C+C and Invisible Collective's commitment to developing engaging narratives that heighten awareness and motivate action has been demonstrated before, such as the Emmy award-winning "Mentira Mariachi" campaign and the more recent "They Think They Know You" campaign - both for the Washington State Department of Health. These successful projects exemplify the two agency’s ability to address social issues through innovative storytelling, both setting a precedent for the impactful "Salmon Warriors" campaign. 

Since the campaign's launch on Salmon Defense's website and YouTube channel, advertising and regional news coverage have been driving high levels of engagement on social media and a substantial number of Salmon Defense newsletter sign-ups, indicating strong community support and interest in the cause.

Watch "Salmon Warriors below or on Vimeo here:"

For more information about how to get involved in salmon recovery efforts, please visit