Boo at the Zoo has long been the unmissable Halloween experience for many families in Fort Worth. Since 2011, Schaefer has been tasked with keeping Boo at the Zoo top-of-mind for old fans and the next generation of families looking to establish a Halloween tradition.
Working on Boo at the Zoo is a rewarding creative problem for our team to solve each year, and it illustrates the variety and volume of strategy and thought that goes into marketing an event year after year – and staying relevant and top-of-mind in the local market.
Boo at the Zoo is a big deal in Fort Worth. It gives children a chance to celebrate Halloween alongside some of their favorite wildlife animals. This well-loved local tradition has cemented itself as one of the best family-friendly events in North Texas, and it’s our job to not just create awareness but inspire action and encourage the decision-makers in the family to purchase tickets before they sell out.
We’ve had the opportunity to work on this campaign since 2010. Each year we face the unique challenge of reinventing and refreshing the event to excite the attention and interest of children and parents in North Texas. The creative hurdle remains the same each year, but this year, the global pandemic created an entirely new set of logistic and messaging challenges.
This challenge requires us to the table each year with a set of new ideas that each communicates the value and excitement that this event provides for families across North Texas.
For 2020, the Zoo decided to alter the usual format from on-foot trick-or-treating to a drive-through event that ensured safer social distancing measures were addressed. Covid-19 health protocols presented another ripple in planning the creative assets and messaging that we pitched to the client. During the pandemic, normal protocols are out the window, and we had to illustrate that this year’s Boo at the Zoo was going to take place in the family car rather than on foot. It was imperative that we clearly communicated that this event still packed the same fun-filled adventure of years past, while offering a safe way to enjoy Halloween during the pandemic.
Boo at the Zoo is a rite of passage for many young Fort Worth families, and we’re so proud to work with the Zoo and play a part in this enchanting local tradition.
The Near Southside is made up of a diverse kaleidoscope of local professionals working in the culinary, arts, entertainment, retail, and service industries. These people and the establishments where they worked were hit particularly hard when the pandemic hit. So, the Near Southside created the Southside C.A.R.E.S Fund, which directly benefits these Near Southside community members.
Awareness campaign to raise $10,000, which will be matched dollar for dollar by a benefactor
Concert stream to raise $50,000 during contribution push
We were tasked with generating awareness and excitement for the Fund to encourage more donations to the artist and service industry members that make up the fabric of the Near Southside community. We created the tagline “We Get By Together,” which illustrates the central message of the campaign and nods to the primary goal of the Fund – caring for our neighbors living and working in the Near Southside.
The Southside C.A.R.E.S Fund serves two important purposes: to generate awareness of the fund, and encourage donations from a wider audience of people who live, work or play in the area. We began raising awareness for the C.A.R.E.S Fund with a social media campaign. It had to be colorful, easy to read, and hyper-share-worthy to encourage community participation, which was central to the campaign’s overall success.
We built a landing page that acted as an informational hub and a place where people could contribute to the fund and find out more about how to apply for aid. The landing page lives at wegetbytogether.com – another nod to the reality that everyone is facing the pandemic, and we’re each in this fight together.
The Concert – Leon Bridges Live from the Southside
As the campaign unfolded the focus shifted from the website, to a free, live-streaming concert put on at Kent & Co. Wines by Near Southside residents Leon Bridges and Abraham Alexander. Both artists graciously donated their time and work to continue to raise money for the Southside C.A.R.E.S Fund. The concert directed people back to the website and encouraged more community support.
More than 7,000 unique viewers on the live stream from all over the world, including Russia, the Netherlands, and Egypt
Exceeded concert fundraising goal of $50,000
A Success for Our Community
The Southside C.A.R.E.S Fund was a rousing success and smashed the initial contribution goals. Thanks to the generous support of Marilyn and Marty Englander, every contribution to the Southside C.A.R.E.S. Fund was matched dollar-for-dollar up to 10K. Which means, donations doubled in impact. But the Fund would not have been as successful without tremendous community support.
Campaign Results to Date
More than $143,588 raised
1,980 individual donors
569 grants awarded
As we continue to cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Southside C.A.R.E.S. is committed to supporting the district and the people who make it up. As a member of the community, it is our honor to help the Near Southside raise awareness and support for people in our community.
This campaign and community concert would not have been possible without the incredible support and contributions from some of our local partners. Their generous donations and dedication of time and energy brought this fund to life and has helped improve the lives of people living in the Near Southside.
Covid-19 has changed everything and college football has not been immune to the impact of the pandemic. We partnered with TCU Athletics to expand on the tradition of the Riff Ram Video and create a hype video during the first-ever, socially-distant TCU football season. During normal circumstances, this hype video would run in the stadium to invigorate the audience, but under quarantine protocols, fans cannot attend the games and cheer their Frogs to victory. So, how can you inspire fans at home to leave their seats and chant along to “Riff, Ram, Bah, Zoo?” By connecting them.
The video begins by nodding to the new reality of the fan experience. Football is part of the fabric of American life, Zoom is too now. Showing fans in the Zoom space and having them breaking the grid is a fun way to show that no matter where you Riff Ram, you’re cheering with s fans across ages, places and even a pandemic. Despite the virtual barriers (and real ones presented by pandemic quarantine protocols), we’re always connected as a part of the TCU fandom family.
The video illustrates to fans that we aren’t really that far from each other. From the athletes and students, to the family watching at home, we’re all living under a new normal. And while we can’t gather in person, we can find solidarity and spirit in the fact that we’re all in this together.
Creating this video during the Covid-19 pandemic was a challenge that required our team to solve problems that we’d never confronted before. The big question was, “how can we keep everyone safe while producing an effective video that serves campaign goals?”
The entire spot was shot on a green screen with all but two shots featuring one person at a time. Every background was added in post and every action and camera move had to be planned out prior to filming. Each crew member wore masks while we were working, and the only unmasked people in the studio were the on-screen talent. We booked each of the actors with their own timeslot to minimize their exposure to others. However, this made each studio session incredibly valuable as we could not invite the actors back for re-shoots later.
The game plan for this shoot was nearly as planned, practiced and choreographed as Gary Patterson’s defense (almost).
The shoot was difficult, but the team at Red Productions made collaborating on such a meticulous production much easier, more enjoyable and pretty impactful!
Concept by: Schaefer Advertising Co. Produced by: Schaefer Advertising Co. and Red Productions.
A season of ballet programming is made up of a series of performances, each standing alone as a unique story being told on the stage. How, then, do you create a campaign that communicates these different stories under one cohesive message? That was the obstacle we faced when ideating creative assets for the Texas Ballet Theater’s 2019-2020 season campaign, and here’s how we solved it.
Tell the individual story of each performance, while also fitting the unique designs into one cohesive, identifiable campaign.
Conceptualize ideas that work in photography to incorporate the dancers as crucial campaign assets.
Illustrate the ballet’s marriage of art and athleticism.
Attract a wider audience and convince them to become season subscribers.
Branding an entire season of ballet was a huge puzzle for us because each performance has its own story to tell, full of imagery and icons that are significant within the individual narrative but may not translate into one clear campaign. Plus, it was crucial for the dancers to be featured in each advertisement, so finding a way to marry all of those elements into a unified campaign was crucial.
We needed to create a full season campaign that is cohesive, blends together as a collective vision and message, but that also has enough individuality for each performance that a creative asset could confidently stand on its own. For that to occur, there needed to be enough interest and variety on a performance level as there was on the campaign level, so that the creative assets could be used in advertising on multiple platforms and mixed media.
The Creative Solution
We developed “Alive with Wonder,” a concept featuring the tagline Let Beauty Envelop You. This central message was accomplished by creating illustrations unique to each performance and then having those designs envelop the dancer on the page. Each pattern visually represented individual performances with elements that are important to the story on the stage.
This interaction between dancer and design alluded to the immersive experience of witnessing performances on stage and hammered home the overall campaign tagline – Let Beauty Envelop You.
Once finalized, the campaign imagery was extended into a full graphic system that allowed for both consistency and customization in the promotion of each performance. To accommodate the variety of mediums in our cross-platform media strategy, the flexibility of the system was imperative.
Making Life Better
The common misconception about ballet is that the performances are only suited for fans of high art or those that understand the nuances of performative arts. General audiences sometimes mistakenly assume that a barrier exists between them and enjoying and understanding ballet performances. The reality is this: over the course of a season of ballet programming, a performance will occur that is enjoyable for all types of audiences with different levels of ballet experience. Creating a campaign that cohesively communicated the different themes and tones of each performance and enticed a wider audience to attend was a hugely rewarding endeavor.
An Award-Winning Campaign
Recently, the Texas Ballet Theater’s 2019-2020 season campaign took home some prestigious awards from the Fort Worth ADDYs. All totaled, the 2019-2020 season campaign won 5 Gold Awards and the special Judge’s Award for Best of Print. It is such an honor to be recognized and earn shared success with our clients.
When the Texas Ballet Theater needed a way to reinvigorate their marketing, we created a comprehensive marketing campaign that expanded their ticket sales from a steady group of subscribers into a larger group of new season ticket holders.
Season subscriptions to Texas Ballet Theater, while strong, had stagnated. Subscribers were offered the same options year after year, purchase the entire season or purchase single tickets at a later date. Within performing arts, the prospective ticket buyer ranges from the devoted fan to the person that wouldn’t even consider attending. Marketing resources are precious, and we have to ensure they are being invested where they will yield the highest ROI.
Using data to drive decisions, Schaefer proposed restructuring subscriber packages to give existing patrons more choice and convince new people to become subscribers and single ticket purchasers. Beyond subscriptions, the campaign was designed to have a positive impact on single ticket purchases. Single ticket sales launched in the middle of the campaign on July 1st, and within the first day, more than 3,500 individual tickets were sold.
One of the largest components of our overall campaign was audience segmentation. To accomplish this, we appended audience data from TRG Arts – the Ballet’s consultant.
We divided the Ballet’s existing consumers into four distinct groups of:
1 – previous year subscribers
2 – lapsed subscribers
3 – multi-performance buyers
4 – single ticket buyers
By building package options, we were able to convince larger subsets of people to subscribe to Texas Ballet Theater.
We added historic subscribers and single ticket purchaser data to create persona profiles based on audience demographics and psychographics. We then built lookalike audiences based on the four groups and mapped each of the groups’ behaviors to identify purchasing trends across multiple digital channels. This gave us the insight needed to better understand their consumption habits and likelihood to purchase either a full or partial season or if they were likely to be a single-ticket purchaser.
Once we isolated recurring trends in the audience segments, we hyper-targeted the right ticket package to each group through paid digital media. Further, website retargeting enabled us to identify those that had expressed interest but not yet purchased and then retarget them with the TBT message most likely to yield a purchase.
Clearly brand the full 2019-2020 ballet season, while also promoting individual performances on their own merits.
Earn more new, full-season subscribers.
Define the main buyer personas and outline their purchase-decision journeys to understand their motivations for purchasing a full-season subscription and a single-performance ticket.
Outline a way to recapture people that did not renew their full-season subscriptions from the previous year.
Paid media campaign delivered 1.8 million targeted impressions, and generated more than $40,000 in ticketed revenue in just a few weeks.
After only 2 weeks of a dedicated full-season campaign, subscription sales up by nearly 3% YOY.
New subscribers up by 45% YOY.
Exceeded last year’s launch-day single ticket sales by more than 10%.
Total ticket sales up 18.43% YOY, despite a later season launch than 2018.
During the campaign, overall website sales totaled $199,000.
Telling the story of an elite collegiate baseball program is a large task – and it’s one that we help TCU Baseball accomplish every year. But, like every task that our team tackles, it’s best to take it one small step at a time, day in, and day out.
Since 2014, we’ve worked with the TCU baseball team and Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle to create a video that helps attract the best baseball players from across the nation and shares the team values. We work closely with Coach Schlossnagle to talk about team dynamics and the themes that the team will source for inspiration that year.
This year’s theme was “consistency of purpose” applied throughout all walks of life. Beyond being baseball players, each athlete is also a student, a child, a friend, an ambassador, a budding young professional – the list goes on. For Coach Schlossnagle, if all that the TCU baseball program focuses on is getting better on the field, then they’ve failed these young players as mentors. The video serves as a reminder that the team believes in producing well-rounded young men that are capable of accomplishing goals on the field, in the classroom, and in their personal and professional lives.
The video starts small, focused on feet on the floor – the first step anyone needs to take to accomplish their goals is getting out of bed and setting upon their course. The video gets wider and walks the central characters through multiple scenes of their everyday life – from bedroom, to the gym, walking around campus, getting food at the cafeteria, through practice on the field, and back into bed – a day in the life. The process repeats as the camera expands its view of the subjects, and then focuses on all of the little aspects the characters practice on the field as they build toward the big game, while intercutting more of their personal lives as students and young men.
The narrator speaks to the value of consistency, and honestly depicts that it’s an inglorious, repetitive process that gradually builds a person up to be better than they were yesterday, brick-by-brick.
“The goal isn’t to better than the other guy. The goal is to be better than myself. At least 1% better than I was yesterday. Day, after day, after day. Consistency isn’t exciting – it’s necessary.”
The entire video communicates the small steps that we each take toward bettering ourselves. The editing and musical elements speak to that consistent repetition as the scenes cut in and out and the beat builds – small, consistent stylistic elements that communicate the overall message of the video.
Making Life Better
Motivation isn’t a concept specifically reserved for baseball players and athletes – it’s a fleeting feeling that every single one of us has to find, harness and control to meet our own goals. With this video, we hoped to create a message that extends beyond baseball and motivates each of us to use consistency to accomplish their goals every single day – day in, and day out.
Credits: Concept by: Schaefer Advertising Co. and Scott Porter Produced by: Schaefer Advertising Co. and N8 Visuals Inc. Music: The Seige by Run For Your Life – Licensed through Musicbed Voice Talent: Zach Mayo
When the Fort Worth Zoo enlisted Schaefer Advertising to help drive people to their new African Savanna exhibit, we couldn’t wait to take the bull by the horns and get to work. Our team was able to come up with a rich campaign that encapsulated the spirit of the exciting new exhibit.
The new African Savanna exhibit was built around a central prairie that houses giraffes, springbok, ostriches and many more species all in one exhibit. A winding path gives visitors a 360-degree view of the animals in the prairie and allows people to get closer to the animals than ever before. This creates a truly unique experience for each visitor and ensures that no two visits are alike. The main attractions are the hippo exhibit that includes above-water and underwater viewing, and the giraffe feeding deck. The new Savanna exhibit features shaded viewing spaces and is surrounded by an aviary that houses a variety of bird species.
Generate awareness of the new African Savanna exhibit
Send interested web traffic to the Zoo’s website
Drive more ticket sales centered around new exhibits
The Get Closer campaign was created to highlight the capabilities of the new African Savanna exhibit and emphasize the intimate experience that the space offers visitors. We needed to clearly communicate that the African Savanna allows patrons the opportunity to get closer to the animals than ever before, and illuminate the giraffe feeding platform, and the hippo exhibit.
Before launching the campaign, our team developed a detailed multimedia strategy that would get more people interested in exploring the African Savanna exhibit. To deploy a fully-integrated campaign, we incorporated digital and broadcast ads alongside more traditional out-of-home ads in the form of pole banners, billboards and bus benches that were placed in strategic positions throughout the metroplex.
The campaign featured the two stars of the new exhibit: the underwater hippo viewing area, and the elevated giraffe feeding station. Schaefer developed concepts that communicated the intimacy of the space, while also inviting audiences to look adventure in the eye.
We really enjoy using a medium to its full potential and thinking about new ways to use traditional mediums that command consumer attention. For the Get Closer hippo billboard, we used extensions to maximize the real estate on the board and communicate the capability of the new hippo viewing area. By extending the hippo’s head over the top of the board, we were able to mimic the water line and show viewers the capabilities of the exhibit.
Savanna TV Spot
We chose to use the African Savanna TV spot to expand and support the campaign’s core idea of “getting closer” to the animals and take local families on an authentic African safari right in the heart of Fort Worth. The commercial features children and families getting close enough to the animals to play a small game of “monkey-see, monkey-do,” and interacting with the new exhibit’s animal kingdom. Filming animals is unpredictable, but the “talent” decided that they were ready for their closeups and behaved like seasoned professionals.
The weekend after campaign launch saw a 316% increase in ticket sales compared to the weekend before campaign launch.
The 60 days after campaign launch sold greater than 35,000 more tickets than the same 60-day segment in 2017, for a 14.3% increase in ticket sales.
Standard media display click-thru-rate 216% higher than industry benchmark of .06%.
Rich media display click-thru-rate 46% higher than industry average of 2.25%.
Making Life Better
At Schaefer, we strive to make life better with each project that we take on and in every conversation we have. Going to the Fort Worth Zoo is an incredible experience, and it’s an honor to work with an organization that practices such extensive conservation efforts. Feeding a giraffe or standing eye-to-eye with a hippopotamus is such a joy for people of all ages and working to share that experience with a wider audience was the big cat’s pajamas.
The Story The Zoo can be for grown-ups, too. The Fort Worth Zoo has created an atmosphere for a crowd 21- and-older to get excited about good food and good music meeting around their favorite Zoo animals. Beastro, a live music and food event is an annual fundraiser that allows the Zoo to continue advancing their conservation efforts, while giving their visitors a different taste of the Zoo experience – quite literally.
The night spans to midnight and features a variety of food vendors with booths, open bars throughout and live music entertainment. For 2018, the theme across traditional and non-traditional media platforms features a vibrant jaguar hungry for good food, good music and a good cause. The Work Each year for Beastro, we look to create a festival-like feel tailored toward an audience with eclectic and sophisticated tastes in food and music. The event being a nighttime event, allowed the team to indulge in some color-play, by pairing colors that create a stark contrast and collective vibrancy across all different mediums.
The inspiration for the overall design began to lend itself to a late-night neon lights, Vegas vibe. Through the use of a teal gradient, our team created a look that’s reflective of the trendy, vibrant, yet sophisticated event Beastro is.
As with anything with the Zoo, animal-selection always creates its own arena for brainstorming. Allowing the jaguar to take shape as the face of the event, there’s an inherent mystery to this animal’s demeanor that ultimately complimented the exploratory environment Beastro creates. With a variety of food vendors and music, there’s opportunity for visitors to come-taste-and-go, learning about new flavors and indulging at every turn of a corner.
Across different mediums, Beastro carried a presence across many digital mediums including outdoor billboards, webpage takeovers, Spotify ads, email and display banners. It also made its way directly into area homes through direct mail pieces and print ads. The Results This year, weather turned out to be in our favor. The event carries on [light] rain or shine, but the Texas summer has proven to be quickly approaching. More than 40 food vendors set up shop throughout the park before 7 p.m. and more than 1,900 visitors experience the delectable bites, sips and tunes. Update Weather cooperated and so did the animals. More than 2,200 people indulged in delectable tastes from more than 40 food and beverage vendors, and enjoyed the live music entertainment. 394 people experienced the perks of purchasing VIP Party Animal tickets, and more than 1,800 who purchased general admission tickets lined up this year. This year was a huge success for the Zoo and our team.
Last weekend was the 15th anniversary of Arts Goggle, our Southside arts festival, and with 800+ local and regional artists, 50 bands and a footprint spreading across 18 blocks of the Near Southside it was the largest one yet! When our neighborhood gathers to celebrate creativity and craft, we can’t help but join in on the fun and take a few schots, Schaefer Shots.
This year we activated a storefront-turned-photo booth and offered free polaroid portraits to the patrons of Arts Goggle. We also captured a digital version and have collected a series of Southside portraits on a site for them to download a copy of the images.
We love being a part of the Near Southside in Fort Worth and this was a chance to engage with the community and give out a few smiles.