San Diego Zoo
We have been the San Diego Zoo’s Agency of Record since 2005. Over the years, we’ve executed dozens of campaigns together – Africa Rocks is just one example where we developed a 360-degree campaign to build excitement around the Zoo’s biggest exhibit expansion to date.
In 2017, we were tasked with developing a campaign for the San Diego Zoo to help launch its new Africa Rocks exhibit. This was the Zoo’s largest exhibit expansion to date, so it was especially important. But there was a catch – this exhibit did not feature the “Big 5” (lions, giraffes, rhinos, zebras, and elephants), the animals most people associate with Africa. Instead, it allowed some of Africa’s lesser known stars to take center stage.
Our work had to disrupt perceptions about what to expect from an African zoo exhibit and showcase the true diversity of Africa. With this in mind, we created a campaign based on the powerful strategic idea that “Africa rocks in so many ways.”
Launching a New Supergroup
With a name like Africa Rocks, it was only natural to build a campaign around music. Our rock star themed campaign highlighted the incredible collection of new animals coming to San Diego.
Africa Rocks would be one of the most ambitious creative projects we and the Zoo had ever undertaken. We even enlisted the help of Stranger Things artist and Los Angeles-based visionary Kyle Lambert to develop our core campaign key art, bringing the creative to a new level.
Guerrilla-Style Gig Posters
We created bespoke gig-style posters for each of the exhibit’s six new habitats, enlisting the help of American poster artist and illustrator SCROJO (a renowned talent in the music industry). The posters were plastered guerilla-style across Los Angeles’ and San Diego’s busiest neighborhoods like a stadium tour, drumming up buzz and excitement.
Flashback Video Content
Finally we partnered with renowned animation house Gentleman Scholar to develop our hero AV content. Inspired by the visual artistry of MTV in the 1980s and 90s, we created a series of AV executions that were channel neutral. Fans hunted down the different themed videos from social to TV, waiting for the next habitat to drop in our Africa Rocks story.