Play! Stories at Chester Zoo Creative Campaign

With Play! at Chester Zoo proving to be such a massive hit last summer, the Zoo wanted us all to carry on playing, laughing and having loads and loads of fun. This Easter, they’ve been inspired by all our favourite animal stories and want everybody’s help in bringing them to life at an amazing storytelling festival. Through music, theatre, film, arts and crafts or adventurous play, you can get involved in making storytelling even more creative at Chester Zoo.

The Brief

A Creative Campaign Encourages Families To Join Zoo Events

During Easter, Chester Zoo will be hosting a storytelling festival with a range of events and performances. As part of the wider ‘Play!’ campaign, Ultimate’s brief was to attract families to the Zoo over the holiday period and encourage creativity. Our creative designs needed to draw on the Zoo’s own extensive collection, highlighting those animals which are going to feature in the events. For example, the ‘Giraffe Dance Workshop’.

Ultimate’s creative campaign primarily needed to compel a range of audiences to visit the Zoo, attend one of the amazing events and have an experience that they couldn’t anywhere else. The goal was to excite the audience, make the adults feel nostalgic and leave everyone wanting to find out more.

For this campaign we revamped the Play! microsite with fresh ideas. Whilst families can’t purchase Zoo tickets on the microsite, they can discover more about the storytelling festival. Refreshed with new content, it’ll keep kids and adults playing and telling stories after their visit to the Zoo.

Three Challenges


Getting The Message Across

There was lot of information to tell people and not a lot of time or space to do so.


Unique Design Style

We needed to create a distinctive look for this storytelling festival to set it apart from the original summer Play! campaign, whilst still demonstrating a link.


Telling Our Stories

Rather than focusing on one specific story, we thought about storytelling in general. Any story can be brought to life, even one you’ve imagined yourself.

The Solution

Drawings That Help Bring Stories To Life

At the heart of our creative campaign is an amazing showcase of just how creative and imaginative we can all be. With Chester Zoo so keen to encourage the talents of the Zoo community, we wanted to spark everybody’s imagination.

We invited a group of children to draw some of their favourite storybook animals so that we could bring then bring these authentic kids’ drawings to life as part of a photoshoot. Our creative wanted to capture that special moment when the children then saw their characters blown up larger than life and could interact with them. The animal drawings had bags of character and personality, and lots and lots of legs. It was like seeing directly into a child’s imagination!  

We felt that by focusing on drawing in our imagery, we could show that this Zoo festival is highly creative, unlike some of their other, more scientific ones. The type of illustration could vary, depending on the audience we wanted to target. For example, we could use more sophisticated drawings and older models for events like the Halle Orchestra.

We loved the idea of a solid one colour background but were careful to ensure that the final images would sit well on the microsite, with no clashing shades on the navigation.

To further support the campaign, we created a charming and playful animation.

There are stories in everything. How will you tell yours?

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At Ultimate we believe new projects should be undertaken with great amount of consideration and vigilant planning and research. You can be assured everything we do, will be the best for you and your brand and not what is best for us!