6.13.12 /


At Cactus, we believe in the power of stories. As the agency of record for Denver Zoo, we had the opportunity to be involved in the development of a fantastic story; the opening of Toyota Elephant Passage.

The new $50 million expansion at Denver Zoo is a groundbreaking evolution in the way people interact with and experience animal habitats. The 10-acre Toyota Elephant Passage brings visitors into the midst of the animal habitats with six expansive outdoor yards, three animal crossings, and more than 1.1 million gallons of water for the exhibit animals to enjoy.
Cactus was tasked with telling this important story, and through it helping to solidify Denver Zoo's leadership position on a local, regional and national level. At Cactus we felt that this seismic shift in consumer experience demanded a new approach to communications planning. This was an opportunity for the Zoo to evolve the way they interact and connect with their core audience of families and urban couples.

Consumers want to be involved in the development of brand meaning. The more advertisers acknowledge and give their consumers influence, the closer they are able to bind that consumer to their brand. Cactus took this understanding and applied it to the integrated communications planning process. Through a blend of brand/industry-centric planning and social graph analysis of the Zoo's target audiences we identified a key connection point between the brand and its consumers - discovery.

Our communication strategy was then built around using this sense of discovery to drive two key consumer outcomes:

1.     Drive initial awareness of the Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit in order to increase ticket sales through the message, "Come discover the new Toyota Elephant Passage."
2.     Use personalized moments of discovery, or storytelling, related to Zoo experiences to drive sustainable relationships between Denver Zoo and its consumers through social media sharing.
The awareness campaign, which is currently running, is supported using a media mix that mirrors the consumption habits of our target audiences including radio, digital display & rich media, events, and mall-based advertising. This approach allows us to match different campaign messages to the right medium, increasing overall campaign frequency while minimizing creative burnout.

Our paid media impressions not only drive awareness of the exhibit, they also promote personal discovery through an incentivized Like campaign on Denver Zoo's Facebook page. By building relationships with patrons on Facebook, the Zoo is then able to leverage promotions and exclusive offers to demonstrate continued relevance to that individual (i.e., tickets to events, VIP access, downloadable kids activities, etc.).

The ultimate goal is to use the Zoo's paid investment to build durable relationships with the target audience through social media.

We're excited to be part of Denver Zoo's changing story because it is such a great story to tell. And also because through this campaign Cactus has been able to tell our own story about how the role of integrated media planning and buying is changing.

Jamie Poston is the Media Director at Cactus.



7.6.12 - 7:26pm


That is a great idea. We'll check with the client and see what they think.


7.6.12 - 7:21pm

Will these illustrations for the elephant passage ever be sold as a poster or art print? I would love one!


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