Maryland Zoo

Partnering to change perception.

The 3rd oldest Zoo in the country had the essential elements - a beautiful campus, compelling animals and a committed staff. Nevertheless, having struggled for funding, The Maryland Zoo’s visitor experience had failed to evolve. This bolstered skepticism about the quality and value of a Zoo visit throughout the community. Their keen staff recognized that fixing the experience alone was not enough, and that addressing the brand perception was imperative to regaining trust, admiration and support.

Mission was originally hired by the Zoo to provide design services and implementation support for a fundraiser. After a successful event, we became the Agency of Record, working in partnership to elevate the Zoo’s brand, and rebuild the organization’s reputation. We concepted and launched a “Meet Me at the Zoo” campaign that re-introduced the Zoo as premiere place to connect with family, friends and animals alike. We carried the welcoming voice and playful energy into campaigns for signature events, as well as the phenomenal new Penguin Coast exhibit. Recently, we were honored to work with Zoo team to develop a new identity and visual language that will define the Zoo brand and inspire its voice for years to come. Together with the Zoo, we’ve successfully changed the perception of the organization and celebrated consecutive years of record attendance and financial solvency.

Expertise

Agency of Record: Brand Platform, Messaging, Content Strategy, Design, Environmental, Advertising, Photography, Video, Web Design, Development & Integration, Digital Marketing, SEO, Event Production

Markets

Entertainment, Non-Profit, Destinations

Online HQ

marylandzoo.org

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I

Identity System

A wildly unique identity.

The foundation of the The Maryland Zoo's identity system is a logo that celebrates the organization's commitment to conservation in an unexpected way allowing for a wide range of voice and tone applications.

Logo

Style Guide

Collateral

MDZ.001 Primary Maryland Zoo wordmark
MDZ.002 Animated Maryland Zoo wordmark
MDZ.001 Primary Maryland Zoo wordmark
MDZ.002 Animated Maryland Zoo wordmark
MDZ.003 Primary Maryland Zoo wordmark patterning

Loud And Proud

The animals represented in the logo are the species that The Maryland Zoo focuses its largest conservation efforts on; the southern white rhino, African penguin, African elephant and Panamanian golden frog.

Variants and colorways as diverse as the animal kingdom.

The primary color palette is inspired by the Zoo's animals and their habitats.

MDZ.004 Maryland Zoo Color Palette and Collateral
II

Web Design & Development

An online presence created for evolution.

Imagined with a wide variety of audiences in mind, the website is the cornerstone of the Zoo's marketing strategy and supports the visitor who just wants to check a schedule and those who want to do a deep-dive into animal education.

Responsive Website

Custom Wordpress CMS

Robust Calendar Integration

MDZ.005 Maryland Zoo Responsive Website
MDZ.006 A mobile-first approach
MDZ.007 Custom event and trip planning calendar
MDZ.006 A mobile-first approach
MDZ.007 Custom event and trip planning calendar
“ ”

The zoo calendar was an exercise in herding penguins; keeping them all in tidy rows when all they want to do is waddle about.

GEORGE  /  DEVELOPER, PENGUIN-HERDER

III

Brand Campaign

Annual campaign strategy, concept and creation.

The Zoo offers the unique experience of getting up close to animals who have real personalities and mannerisms. We consistently leverage this differentiator to create meaningful connections to visitors of all ages.

Strategy and Concept Development

Print

Television

Outdoor

Environmental

MDZ.008 Key art for the "Meet Me" Campaign
MDZ.009 Outdoor environmental graphics
MDZ.010 Outdoor Traditional & Digital Billboards
MDZ.009 Outdoor environmental graphics
MDZ.010 Outdoor Traditional & Digital Billboards

Bringing the campaign to life through motion.

Getting the chance to film the animals in their habitats and up close is a one-of-a-kind experience. It's also an exercise in extreme patience. The results, however, are always gorgeous and make a story that tells itself.

MDZ.011 3 shorts from the "Meet Me" video series

#dribbler

Shoot anything at 1000 frames per second, let alone an animal, and it's sure to be epic.

IV

Digital Marketing

Targeted placement throughout the year for strategic pushes.

From technical SEO to branded display, digital marketing is an integrated discipline throughout our partnership with the Zoo and drives critical conversions for membership, gate, events and giving.

Display Ads

Social Media Campaigns

Paid Search

SEO

MDZ.012 Holiday digital marketing campaign
V

New Exhibit Launch

The Penguin Coast Exhibit helps The Maryland Zoo spread its wings.

As the first new major exhibit in over a decade, Penguin Coast not only delivered on a one-of-a-kind habitat for the growing African Penguin colony at the zoo, but also allows visitors to get closer than ever.

Media Strategy

TV and Radio

Digital Marketing

Print and Outdoor

Environmental

Apparel

MDZ.013 Exhibit Broadcast Commercial
MDZ.014 Exhibit Teaser Video
MDZ.015 Exhibit Teaser Video
MDZ.013 Exhibit Broadcast Commercial
MDZ.014 Exhibit Teaser Video
MDZ.015 Exhibit Teaser Video
MDZ.016 Exhibit Launch Digital Assets
“ ”

The overall design allows visitors to see the penguins closer than ever from many distinct vantage points around the exhibit. The new environment will enable us to continue with our efforts on behalf of these birds.

Nancy H.  /  Maryland Zoo Staff

MDZ.017 Penguin Coast Promotional Collateral
MDZ.018 Penguin Coast Apparel
MDZ.017 Penguin Coast Promotional Collateral
MDZ.018 Penguin Coast Apparel
VI

Event Branding + Promotion

More fun than a barrel of monkeys

For The Maryland Zoo, events are more than excuse to have a good time. They are an opportunity to reach new audiences and connect to the community.

Event Branding

Print & Outdoor

Digital Marketing

Apparel

MDZ.019 Brew at the Zoo Branding

Brew At the Zoo

The buzz from this event grows every year and features libations from the region's best breweries. While the core identity remains consistent, each year a new unique twist is added by our team.

MDZ.020 Product Graphics
MDZ.021 Outdoor Advertising
MDZ.022 Apparel Design
MDZ.020 Product Graphics
MDZ.021 Outdoor Advertising
MDZ.022 Apparel Design
“ ”

Events continue to grow with successes like Brew at the Zoo which has increased in attendance from less than 1,800 in 2012 to consistent sellout crowds.

Timm B.  /  Maryland Zoo Staff

MDZ.023 This is a coaster
MDZ.024 Outdoor Advertising
MDZ.023 This is a coaster
MDZ.024 Outdoor Advertising

Oktobearfest - Maryland's only Bearvarian Festival

Inspired by the success of Brew at the Zoo, we helped the Zoo imagine a companion event series for the fall named Oktobearfest. This single day event has quickly become a sell-out as well.

MDZ.025 Event Poster
Icon

58

Beers

Icon

2

Days

Icon

1500

Attendees

Icon

1

Helluva Time

MDZ.026 Product Graphics
MDZ.027 Promotional Collateral
MDZ.026 Product Graphics
MDZ.027 Promotional Collateral
MDZ.028 Digital Marketing

Reaching New Audiences

For The Maryland Zoo, signature events have changed the conversation, elevated perception and reached all new audiences.

MDZ.029 Apparel Design
MDZ.030 Street Pole Graphics
MDZ.029 Apparel Design
MDZ.030 Street Pole Graphics

Zoo Zoom 8K

This 8K Running Festival offers participants the chance to run through the paths of the Zoo and the adjoining Druid Hill Park. FYI - you can also walk it too if you don't like running.

MDZ.031 Apparel Design
MDZ.032 Promotional Collateral

The Maryland Zoo has been fortunate to experience significant growth in visitation, membership and event attendance over the last several years. The identity and message Mission has worked with us to develop is directly responsible for much of this growth. The personality, approachability and intelligence of the creative have improved both awareness and perception of the Zoo experience. We view the Mission team as an extension of our own and love their sense of collaboration which has elevated the Zoo's brand and continues to exceed our expectations.

Nancy H.

The Maryland Zoo

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