Non-profit for zoos starts own Digital OOH network; SeeSaw to sell ad space

June 8, 2011 by Dave Haynes

I’m going to flip a news release around and start with the bottom instead of the top, because I find that part more interesting than the simple news of a sales rep deal.

An entity called Animals Inc. is the for-profit subsidiary of  The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), a non-profit accrediting organization for U.S. zoos and aquariums. It is starting to deploy a Digital OOH network in major market zoos and aquariums, with the idea that the moms that stream into those facilities all year long is a very attractive audience for advertisers.

The group has signed up SeeSaw to see the ad time.

This unique network offers advertisers the opportunity, says the release, to connect with the elusive Moms and Kids audience as they spend their day together learning about nature, conservation, and our planet, while viewing the life styles of bears, dolphins, elephants, sea otters and many other animals in 17 DMAs around the country. Digital screens will be placed primarily in high-dwell, highly interactive areas of the zoos and aquariums and will feature compelling wildlife and other nature related video content. Additionally, venue-specific content will inform and help families get the most out of their visit.

“Advertisers and their agencies are constantly looking for venues with captive viewing environments, where they can connect with hard-to-reach families on the go,” said Monte Zweben, Founder and Chairman of SeeSaw Networks. “Animals Inc.’s unique and compelling venues combined with the incredible zoo and aquarium audience demographic will enable SeeSaw to further enhance its leadership position in offering advertisers one of the best ways to connect with moms and families.”

The AZA has found that aquarium and zoo visitors are receptive to brand messaging. In a three-year, nationwide visitor attitude study, conducted by AZA, findings concluded that the public felt zoos and aquariums play an important role in conservation education and animal care, and provide a stronger connection to nature — brand values that moms care about.

More than 175 million people visited AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums last year, making these zoos and aquariums some of the best places for advertisers to engage families.

“Joining forces with SeeSaw will allow advertisers and sponsors the ability to reach the millions of families who frequent zoos and aquariums throughout the country,” said AZA Senior Vice President Jill Nicoll. “Brands that feature a conservation message, an environmental product or service, or promote animal care products or services will resonate especially well with zoo and aquarium moms and their families.”

That’s really interesting to see a network of public facilities come up with a harmonized strategy and realize they A) had a nice-to-reach audience, and B) needed a proper sales team to get anywhere with it.

It’s an interesting model you could see carried across facilities such as convention centers, which I THINK all have individual ad sales things going on (if they have anything) but would have far more strength in numbers by saying they get business travellers through their doors, all year long.

Will be interesting to see how the aggregated zoo network plays out.


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