Keeping watch

Visitors may come to the Oregon Zoo to see the polar bears and monkeys, but according to a new pro bono campaign from Cole & Weber/Red Cell, it’s the animals that are getting your money’s worth.

To attract more weekend visitors to the zoo, the Portland, Ore., agency chose to explore the possibility that a zoo visit is an “inter active experience” with “communication, a connection” between animals and humans, said copywriter Jim Elliott.

Two TV spots tagged, “Watch us watch you,” take viewers behind the glass to show the zoo from the animals’ perspective. Ads will air in Portland beginning June 10 and will run throughout the year.

One spot features a polar bear who overlooks a fish that is thrown to him as he watches a boy eating an ice cream cone. What isn’t clear is what he finds more appetizing—the boy or the ice cream.

A second ad has a monkey throwing a banana in the direction of a father and daughter who are relentlessly tapping on the glass.

With all of this communication going on, what are the animals really thinking? Elliott suggested: “What kind of bizarre creature is that?”