Brussels Zoo Promo, Case study THE SMARTEST APE IN THE WORLD by Akkanto, Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels

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THE SMARTEST APE IN THE WORLD

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Industry Zoos
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Belgium
Agency Akkanto
Agency Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels
Creative Alexander Cha'ban, Jan Teulingkx, Ross Mccurrach, Arnaud Bailly, Dieter Riemaeker
Strategic Planner Dieter Riemaeker
Released June 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Travel, Tourism & Leisure
Advertiser: ZOO
Product/Service: SUBSCRIPTIONS
Agency: SAATCHI & SAATCHI BRUSSELS
Agency: AKKANTO
Creative Director: Alexander Cha'ban (Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels)
Creative Director: Jan Teulingkx (Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels)
Creative: Dieter Riemaeker (Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels)
Creative: Alexander Cha'ban (Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels)
Creative: Jan Teulingkx (Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels)
Creative: Arnaud Bailly (Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels)
Creative: Ross Mccurrach (Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels)
Strategic Planner: Dieter Riemaeker (Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels)
Director Sales And Marketing: Anja Stas (KMDA)
Marketing Manager: Hilde De Swerdt (KMDA)
Media placement: TV Show 'Villa Vanthilt' - Eén - National Broadcast - 27th Of June, 2011
Media placement: TV - Weekly Placement - ATV - Local Antwerp Broadcast - 30th Of June - 9th Of August
Media placement: Newspaper Articles - Weekly - De Standaard - National Newspaper - 22nd Of June - 10th Of August
Media placement: Newspaper Articles - Weekly - Gazet Of Antwerp - Local Newspaper - 22nd Of June - 10th Of August
Media placement: Newspaper Articles - Weekly - Nieuwsblad - National Newspaper - 22nd Of June - 10th Of August
Media placement: TV - Ketnet - Children's Show - Eén -National Broadcast - 22nd Of June - 10th Of August

Summary of the Campaign
The objective of the campaign was to attract new members for both the Zoo of Antwerp and Planckendael Animal Park, as well as retaining the existing members.

The main issue was that people tend to see the zoo as a one-time event, with no reasons to return regularly, and thus without much reason to buy a membership.

To overcome that issue, we realised that we had to reinforce the presence of the zoos within their local communities, the cities of Antwerp and Mechelen, by creating an emotional bond, lasting beyond the physical borders of the zoos.

Inspired by a popular Belgian quiz show, we created a fierce competition between the 'Mechelen Bonobos' and the 'Antwerp Chimps', through linked up webcams, which involved specially devised games spread over a number of weeks.

Across newspapers and TV, the story was picked up by the communities of Antwerp and Mechelen, exactly where we wanted. Gate takings went up by 32% on game days and the campaign was a huge success, in terms of membership renewal and as an image enhancement.

PR elements
- The entire competition was presented by a famous journalist.
- Games were endorsed each time by a different celebrity.
- Mayors of the 2 cities joined as the mascots.
- Weekly updates were presented through a local newspaper and a national TV show.
- Story reported by major International newspapers, such as CBS News, the Washington post, China News and the New Zealand Herald, to name a few.

The Situation
While The Zoo of Antwerp and Planckendael Animal Park both still attract a lot of tourists, the typical Belgian family usually perceives a visit to the zoo as a once-a-year activity. They do not see a reason to become a member, as they are not really planning on coming back several times during the year.
In addition, the campaign had to be created in such a way that it would fit both zoos, and while The Zoo of Antwerp is a relatively typical city zoo, Planckendael is more of a wildlife nature park.

The Goal
The goal of the campaign was to re-activate the existing members, as well as recruiting new members, to raise the visit frequency of both The Zoo of Antwerp and Planckendael Animal Park. This had to be done by integrating the annual theme of both zoos: '2011, The year of the anthropoids'.

The Strategy
The difference between a unique visitor and a member is the emotional bond that members share with the zoo. In the eyes of a member, the zoo transcends the level of passive entertainment. They feel involved; the animals become part of their lives. This emotional experience goes beyond the physical boundaries of the zoos.

Our focus was therefore to reinforce the presence of the Antwerp Zoo and Planckendael Animal Park within their local communities, the cities of Antwerp and Mechelen, by creating such emotional bond between the zoos and their inhabitants.

Execution
Inspired by a popular Belgian quiz show, 'The Smartest Person in the World', the contest put the “Mechelen Bonobos” and the 'Antwerp Chimps' in a fierce competition, via linked up webcams, which involved specially devised games spread over a number of weeks.

The entire competition was presented by a famous journalist, games were endorsed each time by a different celebrity, and even the cities’ mayors joined as the mascots. Videos were then uploaded on a dedicated website, and, through social media, fans could follow, encourage and cheer their team towards victory. The story was followed, on a weekly basis, by local newspapers, as well as a national TV show for kids. Another talk show even asked celebrities to actually try the games on stage, leading to quite intriguing results.

In a similar fashion than a sport competition, the battle of the apes became a battle of two cities.

Documented Results
Across newspapers and TV, the story was picked up exactly where we wanted: the communities of Antwerp and Mechelen. Gate takings went up by 32% on game days and the campaign was a huge success on membership renewal and as an image enhancement.

The competition has transformed visitors into fans, by shifting their experience from a passive one-time visit into an interactive team-supporting event.

Local newspapers and National TV shows closely followed the games, organizing dedicated weekly updates to review and comment on the performances of their favorite team.

Nevertheless, the story of the Mechelen Bonobos and Antwerp Chimps was not only reported by the Belgian media: the competition was also picked up by numerous international newspapers, such as CBS News, the Washington post, China News and the New Zealand Herald, to name a few.