Since 1972, the National Zoo has been a leader in giant panda conservation, but in the fall of 2023, Xiao Qi Ji and his parents will move to China as part of the Zoo’s breeding agreements. The pandas are a global sensation, so the National Zoo approached us to help them send them off in style.
The goal was to help the National Zoo mark this momentous occasion in a way that built excitement about conservation, highlight the success of the panda conservation program, and re-introduce the Zoo as an event destination in nation's capital and beyond.
Panda Palooza - a city-wide, three-pronged celebration that put Pandas and the National Zoo an unavoidable part of the conversation this Fall.
Part 1: Buzz building. Our team developed a mini Panda Palooza sub-brand for the occasion that kicked off with a OOH & experiential campaign (Giant Panda sculptures popping up everywhere) driving to the event that covered the Mid-Atlantic, and activated the Zoo's digital channels.
Part 2: The Festival. A sprawling, Zoo-wide10 day event featured panda-themed movie screenings, giveaways, performances by local artists, art stations, a photo booth and extensive educational programming – a true cultural & conservation moment.
Part 3: The Brand Experience. The campaign and festival were supported with custom, sustainably produced merch and give-aways that allowed our audience to show their Panda love everywhere they went. All merch proceeds supported the Zoo's conservation efforts.
Earned media around the campaign included Washington Post, NY Times, ABC News, NY Post, FOX News and more.
On the ground, Panda Palooza had a stand-out turnout with over 120,000 RSVPs and over 60,000 in-person attendees. The size of the crowds surpassed pre-Pandemic attendance levels.