Going (Less) Wild
“Right now we’re building the exhibits for our elephants and our gorillas and also a species called the golden monkey,” Zahrly says. “I would love to be able to say this will open in October and the elephants will open next March, but I just can’t get a firm answer on that. It could be two years past when they hope that it’s going to open. So we have to be really loose in our language when we promote these things.”
With this package, Schultz & Williams took that challenge and capitalized on it, creating a package that, due to its focus on value rather than on one event, new exhibit, new animal or season, is more evergreen than those it was tested against, Harrington believes.
As the zoo grows and changes, so does its general marketing mix.
“Their look is evolving,” says Esposito, noting that the zoo’s street banners, print advertising and billboards all tie into a new exhibit.
Zahrly hopes to work this new, branded look into direct-mail efforts.
“Our zoo doesn’t have a huge budget for advertising, but there’s some general-market advertising that goes out, and I really would like to be able to tie into that so folks see those same images in their mailbox.”
While tweaks and changes are on the horizon for the L.A. Zoo, everyone, especially Zahrly, is pleased with this mailing and conscious of the vital role it plays in membership development at the zoo. According to Zahrly, the zoo has reached an all-time high of more than 66,000 household memberships.