Toronto Zoo



Name Our Cubs


Toronto Zoo




OMAC/Toronto Zoo

Product Category:

Entertainment / Culture / Leisure

OOH Format:

Indoor, Outdoor




With the recent birth of Canada’s first giant panda cubs at the Toronto Zoo, there was an opportunity to turn the Naming of the Cubs into an event that all of Canadians could have a say in the naming of the 2 cubs. The Toronto Zoo built the website, where Canadians could review and vote for their favorite pair of names for the giant panda twins. The Toronto Zoo partnered with OMAC (Out-of-Home Marketing Association of Canada) and their members to develop an OOH campaign to promote the website and drive visitor attendance to the Zoo.

Target Group:

Canadians / Families with children

Strategy and Media Used:

A number of fun and engaging OOH ads ran in Burlington, Calgary, Edmonton, London, Mississauga, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver inviting Canadians to vote for their set of names. From February 8th to the 28th, OMAC members hosted the ‘Name Our Cubs’ creative on various static and digital OOH platforms including posters, superboards, transit shelters, subway and LRT. Residents of Quebec also had the unique opportunity to instantly vote on names for the pandas at eighty interactive transit shelters.

“This campaign was exceptionally significant for us stated Kim Haider, Marketing Manager Toronto Zoo, as it included national reach through an extensive network of Out-of-Home media. As a Not-for-Profit, we would never have a budget to support a national Out-of-Home campaign of this scale or caliber without help of OMAC and their member companies. The success demonstrated through this campaign has firmly supported our decision to use OOH as a significant part of our Toronto Zoo advertising campaign this summer.”


Over the course of the 21 day period a total of 18,805 votes were casted, with 18,160 from voting online and 645 votes via Quebecor’s transit shelters. On average the zoo received 865 votes per day or 6053 per week over the 3 week period. The single highest day total was on February 8th the launch day with 5412 votes. Equally impressive were the visits to the Toronto Zoo website where a special webpage to support this campaign was built.

This webpage totaled 63,491 page views during the duration of the campaign, with 55,622 of those from unique users. During this 21-day period, the “Name Our Cubs” website accounted for 12.43% of total web traffic, and 14.1% of unique web traffic to The only pages that yielded higher web traffic during that time were the homepage, and the Explore The Zoo webpages. The opening day of the naming campaign (February 8) also yielded the highest web traffic, consistent with the number of entries that were submitted that day. The page received a total of 16,592 page views, and 14,537 (88%) of those visits were from unique users. Web traffic spikes were also present on February 17th, 18th and 19th, due to media coverage of the giant panda cubs. The month of February saw a 75% increase in web sessions from January, and a 77% increase in unique users. The 21 day period of the Name Our Cubs campaign was also compared against the 21 days beforehand. From February 8 until February 28, the Toronto Zoo website saw a 98% increase in sessions and 100% increase in unique users compared to January 18- February 7.

Toronto Zoo / Name Our Cubs January 18 – February 7 February 8 – February 28
Total # of Sessions/Visits              85,532                169,806
Total # of Unique Users              65,949                132,127

Overall visitor attendance for March 2016 measured 96% above visitor attendance for March 2015 (139,675 vs. 71,206). And, overall SVP’s (spend per visitor) was also up by 20% in March 2016, compared to March 2015.

Earned media over the course of the campaign showed that the total of print, broadcast and radio reached just under 8 million people which was equivalent to $188,281 in ad value.

Digital media coverage was also prominent throughout the campaign period with over 20 articles published it was very present within the digital space.