Digital Marketing & Campaigns

Lessons learned from Diergaarde Blijdorp part 4: spreading love, one educational campaign at a time

Written by Michael Vromans on 14, Feth 2024

Love is in the air this season, but especially at Diergaarde Blijdorp. In the spirit of this affectionate atmosphere, and Blijdorp’s purpose-driven transformation, we welcome a love and education-centered campaign. So get ready to open your heart, and let the love pour in as we introduce Blijdorp’s latest campaign: ‘Love in the animal kingdom’. 

This campaign is just the beginning of a series of exciting initiatives Blijdorp is taking to educate their visitors on the world of conservation and the life cycle of wildlife. And within this cycle, there is a universal experience shared by almost every living being on our planet: the need for love and companionship. 

With today being Valentine’s Day, I felt there was no better time than now to spread the love and take you on a journey of how we brought this campaign to life. 

An idea takes flight

Is it a coincidence that a campaign all about love has launched right in time for Valentine’s Day? Not at all. In fact with it being the baby boom season, love month, and the start of spring this campaign was the perfect opportunity to educate Blijdorp’s visitors on the mating habits of different species. 

Even though this campaign is Blijdorp's latest, it has been in the works for over six months. And just like the rest of Blijdorp’s 2024 content strategy, these are planned far ahead of time for optimal success. Establishing a content strategy isn't just to ensure you have enough time to create the best campaigns, but it’s also extremely beneficial for larger teams like Blijdorp to remain on the same page about when content needs to be released. 

Part of this content strategy, and what formulates all of Blijdorp’s campaigns are the content pillars. In total Blijdorp has six content pillars, and each covers something important for Blijdorp to share with their audience, that ultimately aligns with their mission to restore nature and conserve its wildlife.

The 'Love in the animal kingdom' campaign is anchored within the educational pillar. This pillar is dedicated to educating Blijdorp’s audience about endangered species, environmental challenges, and, in this instance, the intricate life cycles and behaviors of animals. 

Discover more about Blijdorp’s content strategy

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A legacy of love starts to come to life

After establishing the groundwork for the campaign's concept, timing, and objectives, it was time to start panning out how this campaign would be launched, and the message we wanted to send to Blijdorp’s audience. We began by using Google’s effective 3H module, where content is split into three categories, hub, hygiene, and hero content, to decide on the overall scale of this campaign. 

Having clarified the campaign's purpose, our focus shifted toward crafting its message. Of course, the most important message of all was to share how urgent the threats toward many species are. Inspired by the vibrant resurgence of life and blooming tulips, we envisioned a narrative centered around hope, positivity, companionship, and love. From both the animals with each other, and us with them. 

Once the storytelling was decided on, the next step was to determine the most effective way to reach Blijdorp's audience. We implemented a conversion-oriented landing page, ensuring immediate visibility of the campaign and easy access to the 'buy ticket' option. 

To augment further engagement, we introduced a novel concept of inviting visitors to vote for their favorite animal couple on the landing page, with a chance to win a complimentary lunch or dinner.

Spreading the word about a campaign is important to generate excitement and encourage active participation. We came up with a plan to promote the campaign digitally across different social media channels. Facebook and Instagram were used to harness their ability to provide great results and are already the main channels for conversion for Blijdorp. 

Overall, the campaign came together better than we and Blijdorp’s team could’ve ever imagined. Maybe I’m biased but one of the main showstoppers is the ‘Lover’s Lane’ walking route. Along this route, visitors can scan QR codes to learn more about the companionships of these animals and uncover more about Blijdorp’s breeding programs.

With the foundation laid and the strategies in place, what’s left is the execution of the campaign to make it a success. Are you ready to delve deeper? I, for one, dig it. Let's go!

Sharing the love at Blijdorp

The primary aim of this campaign is twofold: to educate visitors and to stimulate ticket sales, thereby encouraging visits to the park. We carefully planned and strategized to ensure that our efforts would result in an increase in ticket sales, impressions, and reach throughout the campaign. And guess what? While this campaign is still in full swing, we’re excited to share that we’ve exceeded our wildest expectations in capturing the attention of Blijdorp’s audience. 

Instead of telling you why I think this campaign is set to make an impact for Blijdorp, and the future of nature, I’ll let Pim van Helten, our CEO, share his thoughts. 

“Blijdorp’s Valentine campaign shines a spotlight on the remarkable expressions of love found in every corner of the animal kingdom, inviting visitors to connect with their residents on a deeper level and embrace the beauty of nature's most powerful emotion.

Through this journey, we not only celebrate the extraordinary bonds among their animal ambassadors but also inspire conservation action, foster empathy towards wildlife, and ignite a passion for a better future. The impact of this campaign is something we plan to see not just in the short term, but over a period of time.” 

Learn more about Blijdorp’s journey in our guide

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The ‘Love in the animal kingdom’ campaign is intended to bring visitors to the park and educate them about wildlife, but it runs far deeper than that. We aim to spark interest in animal lives through campaigns like these, fostering a connection that motivates people of all ages to advocate for them. 

Because only by truly embracing the experience, we can protect what we hold close to our hearts and secure the opportunity for future generations to witness thriving wildlife in the wild, just as we have.

Go experience the love for yourself while the campaign is running until the end of February 2024. And if you’ve missed it, then don’t worry, because soon spring will bring new life to Blijdorp. Come join and be a part of our shared mission of bringing nature back to life. 

Michael Vromans
Chief Creative Officer

Michael Vromans

Chief Creative Officer

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