Denver Shop Tells a Zoop Story

It may be a bit of a crap shoot, but the Denver Zoo’s ad agency, McClain Finlon Advertising, has been asked to help drive interest in a compost product made from the waste of the zoo’s animals.

The product, Zoop, is said to help gardeners yield particularly robust flowers and plants and is being sold by the zoo in three-pound tins for $9.95 each. According to zoo officials, sales of the product jumped significantly shortly after McClain Finlon’s trio of offbeat point-of-sale posters appeared.

One of the burnt umber-colored posters, for example, features a rear view of a zebra, an elephant and a rhinoceros with the message “Made fresh daily.” Another has the same image under the words “Fertilizer from exotic places. Let’s just keep it at that.” A third ad features only the elephant and says “Hey, can I just get under there for a second?”

“I am one ad guy who really thinks his work is crap,” laughed McClain Finlon vice president and creative director Tom Leydon. He says the agency donated its services because of its history with the zoo.

“We had handled the zoo’s rebranding campaign in the past, and we really love to work with them,” Leydon said. “We created these posters on a pro bono basis because we all love the zoo and we wanted to give something back.”

Using absurd images to promote the zoo is not a new device for the agency. As part of the rebranding effort, it created a spot depicting a household that kept a pet rhinoceros as though it were a cat or dog. After showing the house in shambles after the animal’s romp, the tagline simply said, “Because you can’t keep them at home.”

The spot was included in the Animal Planet show America’s Funniest Animals, according to the zoo’s vice president of public relations, Angela Baier.

“Based on the TV ad, we knew that [McClain Finlon] were really good,” said Baier. “It is just terrific that they would create such clever ads for Zoop. … Now the only question is whether the animals can keep up with the demand.”