With all of the products and services in the United States to be pushed onto consumers by advertising agencies, it's difficult to imagine that Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City has been receiving more than its share of national and international attention.
Since 1986, an advertising campaign for the zoo that was the brainchild of several employees at Fotheringham & Associates has appeared in several advertising business publications - alongside some of the most noteworthy advertising campaigns in recent years put together by some of the largest advertising agencies in the country.It's no wonder that Robert Fotheringham, owner of the advertising company, is pleased with the results. It isn't often that a small advertising agency like his receives as much attention as the national agencies in New York and Los Angeles.
And how many times have advertising campaigns for zoos received any attention?
It all started in the spring of 1986 when some Fotheringham employees approached zoo director LaMar Farnsworth with a deal he couldn't refuse. With Farnsworth paying a modest amount (in relation to other ad campaigns) for printing and other miscellaneous costs, Fotheringham & Associates agreed to donate all of its creative time for an advertising campaign.
Fotheringham said his employees wanted to have "complete creative freedom" and Farnsworth agreed. Fotheringham believed the zoo was competing for people's entertainment dollar and proceeded on that basis.
The result was the large billboards that appeared along the Wasatch Front. Some of the billboards were purchased for the campaign and others were donated by Reagan Outdoor Advertising.
Three different billboards appeared, each one showing a series of three animals and a one-word caption overhead. On one board the captions were "waddle, wiggle and jiggle" and the animals featured were a penguin, snake and hippo.
Other billboards featured a flamingo, a camel and a skunk with the captions of "pink, drink and stink" and another had pictures of an owl, a bug and opossums with the captions "peepers, creepers and sleepers."
Fotheringham said the zoo's attendance increased and in January 1987 the advertising campaign was featured in Archive Magazine, an international magazine printed in West Germany. About 80 international advertising campaigns received attention, 11 from the United States, and the Hogle Zoo ads received a full page.
The television and radio spots were picked up by Adweek and put on a reel that is sold to advertising agencies all over the world, Fotheringham said.
In the summer of 1987, three new billboard designs followed the theme of the ones from the previous summer.
They showed pictures of a rhino, a myna bird and a mole and the captions read "meany, myna and mole." The two others showed pictures of a leopard, a coyote and peafowl with captions of "growl, howl and fowl" and the other had pictures of a fox, anteater and giraffe with captions of "ears, nose and throat."
In the autumn of 1987, Advertising Age, an important publication in advertising circles, picked the best campaigns during that quarter and the Hogle Zoo effort was among the winners. "We were in with some pretty elite company," Fotheringham said.
Late in 1987, the Institute of Outdoor Advertising gave out its OBIE Awards and the Hogle Zoo campaign was a runner-up in the recreation and entertainment category. "We were competing against the largest advertising companies with some pretty hefty budgets," he said.
Last May, the American Association of Advertising Agencies produced a slick-paper book containing the best advertising campaigns, 20 national and 20 regional campaigns. Most of the local advertising campaigns came from the large market areas, but again Hogle Zoo's campaign was featured.
A third generation of the Hogle Zoo ads, featuring an animal picture and two-word captions, ran last summer and Fotheringham won't know for a while if they receive any national or international attention.
These ads featured a picture of a tiger with the caption "Kiddy Cat," a picture of an orangutan with the caption "Swing set" and a picture of a mallard duck with the caption "Animal Quacker."
Work on the advertisements was by ad agency president Bruce Jensen, Rod Miller, Randy Stroman and Preston Wood. Wood worked on the first campaign only and is no longer with the firm.