LOS ANGELES – WongDoody is rolling out the red carpet for the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium’s visiting white alligator.
The gator, named Thibodaux, is one of 18 brothers that are the only white alligators ever discovered in recorded history. His four-month stay at the Tacoma, Wash., park is being trumpeted by TV, print, outdoor and radio advertising.
The reptile’s unusual appearance tipped the scales toward a minimalist creative approach, said Jason Black, art director at the Seattle shop. The 7-foot-long, 120-pound Bayou native “has such cool blue eyes,” Black said. “We were able to do a lot with the membranes and the blinking … to help build interest in this unique animal.”
The 30-second TV spot, quiet but for nature sounds, shows two eyes slowly rise from a white background to watch a bird. The eyes dip back under, and suddenly the bird is gobbled up. Watery text warns, “Don’t miss the White Alligator.”
Print and outdoor ads take the same approach. In the radio spots, kids theorize about Thibodaux’s coloring. (He isn’t an albino; rather, he has a rare genetic mutation called “leucism,” which allows for pigmented eyes.)
The agency didn’t have a chance to shoot Thibodaux himself, so it used computer images developed by Modern Digital in Seattle, Black said.
WongDoody does annual work for the zoo, often for its special exhibits. ¡
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