Doner Stages Local Zoo Coup

In a counter coup over its crosstown competitor, W.B. Doner of Baltimore was awarded the Baltimore Zoo advertising business after losing the prestigious pro bono account to Eisner & Associates in 1993.
“We were interested in rekindling a previous relationship we had with Doner based on their great creative work,” said Maureen O’Brien, marketing director for the Baltimore Zoo.
“We have a lot of good pieces out there,” she continued, “but there’s no real continuity.” Since she was recently brought on board to head marketing, O’Brien told Adweek, “It was a good time to make a change strategically.”
The zoo, one of the oldest in the nation, experiences intense competition in Baltimore with the presence of the National Aquarium, the new Port Discovery and other public attractions in and around the city’s Inner Harbor complex. The zoo also has a geographic problem: it is not located in the downtown area.
One of the key objectives of a new communications campaign, according to O’Brien, is to increase consumer visits through a cohesive initiative that includes strategic planning, radio, print, collateral and direct mail.
The agency is currently working on print campaigns that are up and running. Doner will soon gear up for the big seasonal push, launched annually each spring.
“We are eager to work with the Baltimore Zoo again, creating community-service campaigns to build awareness and to position the zoo as the destination of choice,” said Herb Fried, chairman of Doner.
The Baltimore Zoo’s 180-acre park offers naturalistic animal exhibits, educational opportunities and a haven for endangered species. Chartered in 1876, the facility considers itself a resource for species preservation.