Zoos, as a brand, can be a hard sell and traditional methods of advertising and marketing certainly haven’t helped.

We’ve all seen those low-res, low-impact, low-engagement video content ads chock full of cheesy “slow-motional” shots.

Picture of a Baboon at the Zoo looking at the camera
No-one said this would be such hard twerk!

You know them – the ones where a fake family fakes excitement while looking at an old baboon’s arse.

No doubt part of the problem lies with the format.

Animal welfare concerns aside, consumer marketing research reveals that the “Zoo Experience” is often completely out of step with modern times and audiences.

It’s viewed as being:

  • old-fashioned
  • boring
  • non-interactive

And then there’s the sensitive issue of animal welfare.

Whatever your opinion is on this, one thing’s for sure; bad zoos give good zoos a bad name and bad conservation endangers the good. 

For zoos like Paignton, that dedicate themselves, first and foremost, to passionately promoting and caring for endangered wildlife, these are difficult problems to overcome.

Modern advertising can certainly help. And it should start by taking a tip from the natural world.

By doing what a baboon’s arse is so successfully designed to do…


FUNDERFUL facts about Paignton Zoo

An attraction should attract. It should have appeal.

Paignton Zoo is not just a good attraction, it’s a GREAT attraction. It has limitless appeal and it provides real lasting value. 

Not only does it educate, entertain and inspire hundreds of thousands of visitors each year but, more importantly, it also gives back.

A meerkat at the zoo stood up listening.
Well, I didn’t know that!
  • It’s one of the largest employers in Torbay – paid and volunteer.
  • It plays a crucial role in the economy of the English Riviera. 
  • It’s one of the most popular attractions in the whole of the South West of England. 
  • It has over 2500 animals and birds set amongst 80 acres of beautiful jungle-like wilderness.
  • It was one of the earliest combined zoological and botanical gardens in Britain, and the first that was opened with education as its mission.
  • Even now, 75 yrs later, it still passionately promotes those principles – over 45,000 school children visit the Zoo on educational trips every year.
  • It forms part of the Wild Planet Trust which is a registered education and science charity. The Trust’s family of zoos and nature reserves also include Living Coasts in Torquay and Newquay Zoo in Cornwall.
  • It’s involved in multiple conservation projects, both in this country and abroad. 

As Nick Baker, one of its two celebrity patrons said: 

Wild Planet Trust is so much more than three leading South West zoos and a National Nature Reserve. It’s also a world leader in field research and the advancement of conservation projects both in practical terms in the wild and through captive husbandry. It educates and informs and sets an example to all who step foot inside one of its premises. It leads by example in dealing head-on with topical concerns such as palm oil and plastics. For all these reasons and many more, I support Wild Planet Trust.

So, in summary, it’s a major employer, an expert researcher, a committed and caring conservationist and an entertaining educator.

It just looks like a zoo.

And, basically, it’s NOT a hard sell at all.

we sold a ZOO

So, how did we sell it?

See what we did below. It’s Wildlife Plus. A zoo pack with an adventure upgrade.


What our video content shows is that it’s a myth that you need a blockbuster-sized budget to achieve blockbuster video production values

With the right people, an engaging, exciting, entertaining, cinematic experience can be achieved – even on a small budget. 

Ultimately, though, the objective of the video content/commercial was to drive the target audience to visit.

To show that Paignton Zoo, as an attraction, is a whole day of unique adventure. Where you’ll be taken on a thrilling journey through a vast, jungle-like setting filled with some of the world’s rarest animals, all whilst enjoying family time together. 


We’ll find out later this year if visitor numbers increased year-on-year off the back of this TV, Cinema & Radio advertising campaign. 

in a Wild Planet we Trust

Leisure time is now a valuable commodity.

We all want smack-me-around-the-back-of-my-head value for our money and time. Plus, if we can get it, we want to spend both with family and friends in an enjoyable, educational, interactive way. 

Not asking for much, are we? 

Paignton Zoo is part of a not-for-profit trust. What it definitely isn’t is an ark, a museum or a game. It’s also not an amusement park with animals. And, it’s so much more than a zoo.

If you love conservation, education, entertainment, value for money, value for your time, that’s what you get.


By the bucket load!

Engagement, exercise (bodies and minds) and enthusiasm all come as added bonuses.


According to Sir David Attenborough, Zoos have three specific purposes:

Close-up of a man's hands cradling a transparent globe of planet earth.
The world is in our hands now
  • To show the reality of an animal – its smell, its size, its noises etc.
  • To learn as much as possible from observing and looking after them – caring then becomes an education.
  • And to conserve, breed, and protect animals from endangerment.

In an ideal world, Zoos wouldn’t exist at all. In an ideal world, we’d all be living in perfect harmony with nature everywhere. 

Unfortunately, though, Humankind struggles to live in harmony with anything, anywhere. And, yet, Planet Earth is a Zoo.

Planet Earth is just a bigger cage.

And Planet Earth as a brand is suffering. It too is proving a hard sell.

Just ask Greta Thunberg. 

If you want to know more about the Zoomanji video content we created for Paignton Zoo, just yell at us. We’d be happy to chat!

Until 31st December 2019, with the help of Famous Rebel you can get up to £5000 contribution towards production costs with Sky Adsmart. Read more about the offer here.

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