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Gorilla Kingdom is one of the most ambitious projects ever created by a UK visitor attraction. Opened Easter 2007 by HRH Duke of Edinburgh the exhibit has been supported by an extensive marketing campaign which began back in the summer of 2006. The marketing campaigns main focus was on a high presence in outdoor media through a 4-sheet poster campaign on the underground. This was heavily supported our continued strong relationship with Magic FM through travel and transport sponsorship, spot adverts and co-promotions. We also advertised on Heart FM and Capital FM for the first time. Our key aim was to ensure frequency of the message. These activities were backed by a strong internet presence through Google adwords, an interactive downloadable game, an extensive travel trade strategy, guerrilla marketing activity, lamppost banner advertising and through tourism press. The Marketing Department made a commitment to ZSL directors to increase visitor income in 2007 and as a result were awarded an increase in our budget for the year. This allowed us to undertake a number of new initiatives and to reach further audiences than in past years. ZSL London Zoo is currently experiencing its best visitor figures for a number of years with over 1 million by the end of the year. It has achieved the best Easter since 1989, the most successful June since 1982 and the most successful July since 1992. We are also scoring excellent key performance indicators (KPI’s) and achieving enjoyment levels higher than in previous years. PROJECT AIMS AND TARGET MARKET The aim of ZSL London Zoo’s marketing campaign in 2007 was to promote the opening of Gorilla Kingdom. A £5.3 million investment by ZSL which was the biggest exhibit to open at the Zoo for 20 years. The main messages that we wished to communicate were the up-close experience visitors would receive to our Western Lowland Gorillas when they visited the exhibit, the overall immersiveness of the exhibit, and that ZSL London Zoo is a green oasis in the middle of the capital. The objectives for this campaign were: • To increase visitor figures from 883,092 in 2006 to 950,000 in 2007 • Achieve 48K internet ticket sales over the year • To increase turnover from £7,576,929 in 2006 to £8,979,518 in 2007 • Achieve 520% Return on investment in ticket revenue and 820% Return on investment in overall revenue • For the groups travel trade sector, the objective was to increase total visitors by 25% in 2007 to 110,000 generating over £1,000,000 in terms of revenue. • Increase e.news subscribers from 12,000 – 20,000 • Improve on the Key Performance Indicators achieved in 2006. • Achieve 50% of visitors to ZSL London Zoo to have seen or heard an advert about the Zoo
asking them questions such as what these name conjure in your mind. interpretation and marketing literature. Our USP of animals allowed us to achieve stand out within the London market.• Achieve 60% of visitors to ZSL London Zoo to be looking forward to seeing Gorilla Kingdom Our target audience for this campaign was: Primary • Secondary Overseas tourist PROJECT METHODS/DESCRIPTION The first stage of this project began in the summer of 2006 when we had to develop a name for the new exhibit due to open Easter 2007. We were able to ‘piggy-back’ this re-brand on the Gorilla Kingdom marketing activities as they provided an excellent platform for the new brand to appear. exhibit design. do you think these are suitable for the description of the exhibit etc. March the 1st saw the launch of ZSL London Zoo. Travel Trade ABC1 families consisting of adults age 25-44 with children under 15 years of age. This when then carried through in all activity that was undertaken throughout the campaign. Name development was the responsibility of the marketing department. We applied for additional budget from the ZSL council in 2007 to enable us to up weight the successful strategy that we had followed in previous years. . The overall creative for this campaign was developed in December 2006. This branding was carried through into many areas. All marketing activity and creative took the new brand guidelines into consideration and these will continue to be followed in all future marketing activity. By introducing ZSL into the name of the Zoo we are able to communicate our conservation work and begin to increase awareness of the ZSL brand. These were then researched with our visitors in order to decide on a final name. The final name was then taken through to brand development and a logo design and guidelines were produced. Initial brainstorming sessions were held in order to develop a number of options for the name. who live in London and the surrounding counties. such as merchandising. These included: Branding • To coincide with the opening of Gorilla Kingdom ZSL re-branded its two Zoos’. We wanted to develop a creative which communicated the wonder of the Gorillas. as well as the feeling of a green oasis within London. where visitors can escape and experience something close to the real African rainforest. As well as the main activity outlined in the marketing strategy we undertook a number of new elements in 2007 which added to the success of the campaign.
including a 7 minute slot on Chris Evans’ drive time show on Radio 2. again with the gorilla mascot in the photos accompanied by ZSL staff and the BTTF event organiser. • Email banners were designed and all members of staff at ZSL were asked to include them within their auto signatures. Further promotion was undertaken at high profile trade shows such as British Travel Trade Fair. Partnerships/Promotions • In order to encourage visitors from outside London we were part of the ATOC 2 for 1 train promotion offer and appeared in all of their promotion activity. • All visitors to ZSL London Zoo in 2006 received a ½ price ticket to return to the Zoo in 2007 in order to see Gorilla Kingdom. high quality mailer and distributed this to an extensive list within the industry. which saw us creating joint partnerships with Madame Tussauds and the Open Air Theatre amongst others. This competition. This was to acknowledge the fact that . Not only was a gorilla mascot walking around the show. • Developing a destination marketing project with colleagues in the Regents Park area. • A microsite was developed for Gorilla Kingdom on the ZSL website. • For the summer we sponsored both the Travel and Transport element of Magic FM’s daytime shows and the internet radio player.• Extensive marketing to the groups and travel trade industry was undertaken. This consisted of video footage of interviews with the keepers. We received extensive PR from this launch. visit to the Zoo and overnight accommodation in a London hotel. This involved cross promotion through both of our websites and a competition provided by us of a gorilla encounter. We offered hard hat tours to interested parties of the exhibit before opening and organized exclusive deals with a number of European Partners on tickets to Gorilla Kingdom for their clients. but the official launch and publicity shots for the show were taken at ZSL London Zoo. These consisted of ‘Opening Soon’ versions and ‘Now Open’ versions Radio • Live recordings of children at the Zoo and their reaction to the exhibit were played through Magic FM during the Easter Holidays.co. We also chose a ‘ZSL voice’ which was on brand and this has been used in all radio adverts produced through the year in order for us to create continuity. information on the Gorillas and photography of the exhibit in process and on completion. The top three people who look after theirs the best and therefore score the highest will have the opportunity to meet our gorillas behind the scenes. This made it into a high number of trade press. This marketing campaign is due to run for the whole year and is supported by its own website visitregentspark. Since Gorilla Kingdom has opened we have had 1905 people take up this offer.uk • We developed a partnership with UKTV in relation to their tropical documentary season. Updates were then communicated through our newsletter Monkey Business which was distributed through prominent group travel magazines and to the trade and group travel database. Web/Email • In July we launched a gorilla game which allows people to download a gorilla to their desktops and look after it for three weeks. This began in June 2006 when we developed a themed. We also offered a VIP animal experience and tickets to the Zoo competition prize for them to offer their customers. attracted 4258 entries. ZSL London Zoo instigated and coordinated this project. Along side the radio promotion Magic Fm sent out a GK themed e-newsletter to their online subscribers. This was finished off with a joint travel trade and corporate party with over 600 industry members having the opportunity to come and experience the exhibit once it had opened. which was ZSL London Zoo branded.
Television • An 8 minute feature on Gorilla Kingdom was recorder by Blue Peter and went out on the day of opening. for example the Visit London City Guide and the Dutch version of the Visit Britain guide • We worked with the British Waterways and ran a ‘Gorilla driven’ boat bringing people to the Zoo and a competition within the Metro. and focus groups with visitors and none visitors. • We also held a number of events for other stakeholders. • Guerrilla marketing activity out on the streets in high tourism spots was undertaken. • The production of Ikyps. Events • Visit London held their annual summer party at ZSL London Zoo within the Gorilla Kingdom area.through 2006 ZSL London Zoo was a building site with all our new developments taking place. The marketing creative for this event was based around the Gorillas and again promoted the new exhibit. These included: • ZSL’s 180th Anniversary Gala on the 21 Sept 2006 which was a fundraising Gala to promote GK and related gorilla conservation work to a high level audience. • Gorilla Kingdom showcase’ event for potential and existing corporate sponsors was held on 19th April 2007. This not only promoted Gorilla Kingdom but the conservation work of ZSL within the field and our consideration of using sustainable resources on site. • The creative was continued through 45 lamppost banners in Camden. leading people to the Zoo. such as leaflet distribution throughout all underground stations for the whole of August and an advert within the Metro newspaper during July. This bought the most influential people within the London tourism industry into the new exhibit for the evening. These allowed us to undertake further data capture of our visitors on top of that which we already obtain through our on site day planners • ZSL exhibited a ‘Gorilla garden’ at the Chelsea Flower Show in May 2006. Research • We have an extensive Market Research strategy in place which consists of quarterly exit surveys. This resulted in one of the most successful competitions ever recorded within the Metro. • On July 27th we held Zoo Nights at ZSL London Zoo. This was an evening private view of Gorilla Kingdom open to all Friends and Fellows of ZSL. • Meet the Gorillas member’s event on the 26 April 2007. • A School Visits Brochure which was circulated in October 2006 to 7. a Gorilla Kingdom themed information leaflet available on site.000 Primary Schools promoting the forthcoming Gorilla Kingdom. This attracted 4922 people and allowed them to see the Zoo by night. . This allowed us to liaise with them regarding marketing and offered us opportunities that we would not usually have been able to access. This consisted of ‘Gorilla’s’ handing out postcards around tourism sites in London and the aim was to create word of mouth • We have placed a number of adverts within tourist publication both here and abroad. creative research to monitor the awareness and success of our marketing activity. Other • The Gorilla Kingdom project was partly funded by the GLA. including HRH The Earl of Wessex. This has improved visitors opinion on ease of finding the Zoo when they travel here by public transport.
784 visitors which was the highest Easter weekend visitors for 18 years.RESULTS Visitors Figures at the end of July 2007 were 686. We achieved 601% Return on investment in ticket revenue and 946% Return on investment in overall revenue within the first 6 months of 2007. . June saw the highest figures for 25 years. has proved incredibly successful with the first three months worth of themed merchandise selling within 1 month of opening of the exhibit. 74% of visitors had seen the Gorilla Kingdom underground campaign and 42% of people said that the advert had influenced their decision to visit the Zoo. This is a 36% increase upon last year. At the end of June travel trade and group visitor numbers were 33% above budget for the year. Easter we received 48. which incorporated the Gorilla Kingdom logo.473 which was 17% above current budget. Merchandise. Launch weekend.000 children attending the Zoo and over 25. despite it being the wettest June on record and July was our best 14 years. Education has also had a fantastic year with over 57.500 of them being taught.
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