M&C Saatchi Grows Bee Beard for San Diego Zoo

By Erik Oster 

M&C Saatchi has released another ad for the San Diego Zoo as part of its ongoing campaign designed to stoke children’s interest in the zoo’s Tiger Trail exhibit.

In the spot, a boy has magically grown a full beard made entirely of bees. When a girl asks him how he grew it, he flashes back to a visit to the San Diego Zoo where he communed with tigers and apparently absorbed some kind of mysterious power. It builds off of M&C Saatchi’s previous work promoting the exhibit, focusing on the way interacting with wildlife helps stokes kids’ imaginations. It may, however, be a little too dependent on previous ads to understand its intention, as it otherwise can seem disjointed and a little nonsensical. Still, it’s hard to argue with a bee beard, especially one as convincing as this. To bring it to life, M&C Saatchi collaborated with production company Epoch Films and visual effects company Timber, combining footage of real swarming bees with CGI.


““They were really committed to the process from our very first conversations, and delivered impressively on everything we talked about,” director Matthew Swanson told Great-Ads, “…the entire team at Timber made sure there wasn’t a single i undotted or t uncrossed.””


Agency: M&C Saatchi
Producer: Dennis Di Salvo
Executive Creative Director: James Bray
ACD: Maria Smith
ACD: Ron Tapia
Art Director: Melissa Riggs
Copywriter: Emily Ozan
Account Supervisor: Jerad Schutt
EVP/Director Client Services: Tom Richards

Production Company: Epoch Films
Director: Matthew Swanson

Visual Effects: Timber
Creative Director: Jonah Hall
Creative Director: Kevin Lau
Head of Production: Michael Theurer
Producer: James Taylor
Lead Flame: Chris DeCristo
Flame Assist: Shane Zinkhon

Editorial: ARCADE EDIT
Editor: Greg Scruton
Assistant Editor: Pete D’Andrea
Managing Partner: Damian Stevens
Executive Producer: Nicole Visram

Audio Post: Margarita Mix
Mixer: Paul Hurtubise