M&C Saatchi LA Shines Spotlight on the San Diego Zoo’s New “Africa Rocks” Exhibit With Vibrant, Multiplatform Campaign

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. 

“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.”

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.

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