CAMPAIGNS: Animal adoption at London Zoo - Public Awareness

For five years, London Zoo has been running Adopt-an-Animal Week. The aim of the week is to raise funds for the zoo by getting the public to sponsor different animals, and in return they receive a certificate, a free ticket to the zoo and their name displayed on a thank you board.

For five years, London Zoo has been running Adopt-an-Animal Week.

The aim of the week is to raise funds for the zoo by getting the public

to sponsor different animals, and in return they receive a certificate,

a free ticket to the zoo and their name displayed on a thank you

board.



The sponsorship money goes towards the upkeep of the animal throughout

the year.



It has been a successful venture for the zoo, but some animals, such as

the hissing cockroach, have failed to find sponsors. In addition, there

were fears that with the event being in its fifth year, there would be

difficulty in attracting media coverage.



Objectives



To maximise levels of media coverage of Adopt-an-Animal Week, and get

people to call the sponsorship hotline.



Tactics



The week is sponsored by Yoplait Wildlife, which is involved with

several of London Zoo’s projects. The packaging of the product features

the London Zoo logo and a donation is made for every pack of the fromage

frais sold.



The obvious target for the media relations part of the campaign was the

national media, both broadcast and press.



Radio 1 DJ Zoe Ball, a supporter of London Zoo, was approached to

promote the week. She gave the campaign enormous support, featuring

different animals on her breakfast radio show two mornings in a row. She

also agreed to do a photocall, appearing alongside Honey the bear.



The team working on the campaign approached other organisations to get

involved. The London Taxi Drivers’ Association agreed to be involved,

and also participated in a photocall, this time featuring a London taxi,

its driver and an elephant. A leaflet outlining the adoption scheme was

distributed during the week through London taxis.



London Pride, the tour bus operator, was also involved, visiting local

London newspapers in one of their open-top buses, with staff dressed as

animals wearing price tags.



An unusual step in the campaign was targeting various newspaper

cartoonists to incorporate Adopt-an-Animal into their cartoon

strips.



Results



It is estimated that the total audience figure for the press and

broadcast coverage exceeded 24 million. The event was branded

extensively within the coverage.



The targeting of cartoonists paid off, with storylines in Canary Man in

the Saturday Mirror, Mandy Capp in the Mirror and The Gambols in the

Express. The story was featured in the Sun and the Daily Star, Radio 1

and London Today.



While exact figures on the number of adoptions taken up will not be

available until after Christmas, but current indications are that the

response is up on last year’s.



Verdict



The teams working on this campaign have an obvious infectious enthusiasm

for the subject, which was necessary, since they were working with very

limited resources. The materials needed for the campaign were donated,

as was the time and costs of the various parties who became

involved.



Their enthusiasm, coupled with the solid support the team received,

overcame the problem of the ’so what’ factor which can dog long-standing

awareness-raising weeks.



Client: London Zoo

PR Team: In-house and Lexis PR

Campaign: Adopt-an-Animal Week

Timescale: October 1998

Budget: pro bono



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