San Diego Zoo Film West African Forest by M&C Saatchi Los Angeles

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West African Forest

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Industry Zoos
Media Film
Market United States
Agency M&C Saatchi Los Angeles
Associate Creative Director Ron Tapia, Ben Lay
Executive Creative Director Maria Smith
Art Director Ron Tapia, Stephen Reidmiller
Copywriter Stephen Reidmiller, Ben Lay
Production Gentleman Scholar
Director Will Johnson, William Campbell
Producer Jo Arghiris
Released June 2017

Credits & Description

Complete Project Credits:
Spot Names: "Africa Rocks" :30, "Acacia Woodlands" :15, "Cape Fynbos" :15, "Ethiopian Highlands" :15, "Kopje" :15, "Madagascar Forest" :15, "West African Forest" 15

Client: San Diego Zoo
Chief Marketing Officer: Ted Molter
Marketing Director, Communications & Interpretation: Debra Erickson
Associate Director, Design: Damien Lasater
Associate Director, Communications: Mike Warburton

Agency: M&C Saatchi LA
Executive Creative Director: Maria Smith
Associate Creative Director/AD: Ron Tapia
Associate Creative Director/CW: Ben Lay
CW/AD: Stephen Reidmiller
Director of Content Production: Dennis Di Salvo
Print Production Director: Brian Bushaw
Group Account Director: Mike Wilton
Account Director: Makeia Carrier

Print Poster Illustration:
Kyle Lambert

Production Company: Gentleman Scholar
Directors: William Campbell and Will Johnson
Executive Producer: Jo Arghiris
Head of Production: Rachel Kaminek
Art Director: Michael Tavarez
Producer: Nikki Maniolas
Designers: Hana Eunjin Yean, JP Rooney, Macauley Johnson, Andy Lyon, Brandon Smith, Cam Floyd, Hanna No, James Levy, Kelly Jung, Paul Kim
2D Animators: Chris Finn, Macauley Johnson, Andy Lyon, Danni Fisher-Shin, Henry Pak, Jeffrey “Jip” Jeong, Yoogin Seol
AE Compositor: Ramzee Hogan
Cel Animators: Abigail Magno, Andy Lyon, Laura Yilmaz, Sean Buckelew
3D Animators: Jamie Sawyer, Sarah Wolfe
3D Generalists: Chris Finn, Tim Hayward, Jacques Clement, Jessica Ramirez, Mike Cahill
3D Rigger: Tim Hayward
Nuke Compositor: Chris Brown, Matt Lavoy

Music Company: Yessian
Creative Director: Andy Grush
Executive Producer: David Gold
Senior Producer: Katie Overcash
Composers: Jimmy Haun, Andy Grush

Mix Company: Margarita Mix
Mixer: Paul Hurtubise

M&C Saatchi LA Shines Spotlight on the San Diego Zoo’s New “Africa Rocks” Exhibit With Vibrant, Multiplatform Campaign
Agency Taps Creativity of Gentleman Scholar, Kyle Lambert, and SCROJO
Nearly two years after the historic groundbreaking ceremony for the largest expansion in its 101-year history, the San Diego Zoo Global launches the Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks exhibit. To introduce the expansive and diverse experience, dedicated to plant and animal species from six different African habitats, M&C Saatchi LA developed creative content for an integrated marketing campaign to engage people of all ages. The “Africa Rocks,” campaign will enjoy a multi-channel “tour,” complete with broadcast, posters, out of home, and social throughout the summer.
“By choosing the name "Africa Rocks" for the Zoo's newest habitat, we knew rock and roll would play an important part in telling our story," says Ted Molter, Chief Marketing Officer for San Diego Zoo Global. "Our collaboration with M&C Saatchi LA and their creative partners brought the spirit, nostalgia and diversity of rock to this amazing collection of engaging content, setting the stage for an unexpected African experience showcasing the Zoo's Rock-stars - penguins, lemurs, baboons, meerkats, crocodiles and leopards.”
“The team was given an incredible creative opportunity with the exhibit’s name ‘Africa Rocks.’ We were inspired to illustrate the diversity of habitats & animals through familiar rock themes and iconography we all grew up with,” notes M&C Saatchi LA Associate Creative Director/AD Ron Tapia. “By implementing a different style for each media and habitat, the “Rock” theme was consistent, but every piece of creative felt both fresh and a little familiar at the same time, appealing to the San Diego Zoo’s wide audience.”
The vibrant design-driven campaign includes a :30 “Africa Rocks” Montage Anthem TV/web spot, six :15 spots, radio spots, as well as gig style posters and other out of home advertising. To produce the campaign, M&C Saatchi partnered with noted designer SCROJO (known for his work with Moby and The Red Hot Chili Peppers) for the gig style posters, which will be wild flyered in select locations, and with illustrator & digital Kyle Lambert (Stranger Things, Super 8) on the print media. Award-winning production company Gentleman Scholar created the animated video campaign, described as “Bleacher Report meets MTV for the Animal Kingdom.”
“Six of the world’s most fascinating animals, six of the most iconic animation styles in history, and six spectacular mini stories with dynamic transitions: That’s definitely worthy of any superlative we can think of,” comments Gentleman Scholar Co-Director Will Johnson.
Each animal’s actions are previewed in the “Africa Rocks” spot; with hero animals presented within their own habitats in the :15s. This gave the Gentleman Scholar designers the opportunity for story depth leading to iconic “Africa Rocks” logo treatments. Bombastic music – from metal to 80’s synth, to sitars and record scratches - sonically transport viewers to various decades and genres in this rock tour of the animal kingdom.
To learn more about the San Diego Zoo and the Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks exhibit, please visit