Twycross Zoo tries TV for the first time

  • Twycross Zoo wanted to increase visitor numbers and raise its profile
  • They bought a tightly targeted campaign on one ITV micro region and focused on how the zoo was a great family day out 
  • Visitor numbers were up by 132% over the Easter week

The Challenge

Twycross Zoo is a large zoo in Leicestershire, founded in 1963. In 2009, Twycross Zoo had undergone a revamp which included a new visitor centre and main entrance. 

Twycross needed a new marketing strategy to promote these new developments and to ensure the success of future fundraising for the zoo. In addition, they wanted to raise the profile of the zoo, increase overall visitor numbers, retain existing loyal visitors and encourage repeat visits

Previously the zoo had been a heavy user of local press and PR. It had featured in local guides and coach publications, but it needed something extra to increase awareness.

The ideal plan would be to have a media campaign that could be built upon and developed, as footfall and budgets increased over the coming years. The campaign would start small but grow with the zoo. They also wanted the campaign to generate impact and talkability. This meant only one thing – a TV campaign showcasing what the zoo had to offer.

The Solution

The TV campaign gave Twycross Zoo the ability to showcase the various animals and the new features including the adventure playground and the train. 

Twycross produced creative that appealed to both parents and children and featured three children showcasing all the things to do at the zoo. The ad was kept simple and the children held up pictures of the zoo and the numerous animals. It was accompanied by the soundtrack “Going to the zoo” and the strapline “Spend the day at Twycross Zoo and bring out the animal in you”. This tagline was to be used as the basis for a wider integrated campaign.

The campaign was broadcast across the ITV1 Central East region which enabled Twycross to focus its activity on a small and specific catchment area in a powerful and impactful way. 

They bought 85 spots across three weeks in April 2009, focusing on the key period before, during and after Easter. The airtime was targeted in programmes watched by the family including Primeval and Coronation Street as well as films such as Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and Jurassic Park III. 

Across the 17 days the campaign was active, over 845,000 adults saw the campaign at least once and whilst they spent a great deal less than their competitors, because the campaign bought a good selection of programming in a relatively small area, it worked wonderfully well for them.

The TV campaign was supported by a radio campaign.  


  • Visitor numbers were up 28% for the full month of April
  • Visitor numbers were up 132% over the Easter week
  • Searches were up over 130% in April
  • 74,000 searches for Twycross Zoo over advertised period
  • 97% of those who had seen the advertising agreed it would be a ‘fun and enjoyable day out for the family’
  • 90% of those who had seen the advertising agreed it ‘provides a wide range of things for children to do’
  • 79% of those who had seen the advertising claimed they were likely to visit the zoo in the future

Twycross came back on air with an increased budget and a larger area

This was the first time we had advertised on TV […] it really was excellent value for money. Next year we will have other new attractions and we think regional advertising on ITV will be the perfect platform on which to promote them

Sally Hogg, Director of Communications ,Twycross Zoo


Sector: Entertainment

Brand: Twycross Zoo

Campaign objectives: To promote family fun at the zoo

Target Audience: All adults

Budget: £20,000 to £30,000

Campaign Dates: Three week campaign aired between 3rd and 19th April 2009

TV Usage: 30” spots

Creative Agency: Golley Slater

Media Agency:  Golley Slater


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