Dawn of the Dinosaurs Campaign

Client :Zoo Knoxville

To boost attendance and create curiosity and wonder during peak travel season, Zoo Knoxville introduced a new dinosaur experience on campus, supplementing its regular habitats. We needed to tease, then announce, the prehistoric creatures’ arrival in an exciting way to attract visitors and new members.


Wildlife Education is an important part of the zoo experience. Guests expect it, and Zoo Knoxville prides itself on the conservation work that takes place. Talking about species that have gone extinct is the perfect tie into the mission of the zoo, and also provides an avenue for fantastic fun and storytelling.


Using audience insights and research to inform our creative strategy, we scripted and captured commercial footage teasing the “Dawn of the Dinosaurs” for an imaginative spot depicted through the lens of a child and dinosaur CGI. We designed colorful on-site signage to accompany the humongous, moving, spitting dinosaurs, and displayed fun facts about each species. Our animation and design teams developed a custom-built landing page where visitors could learn about the experience and the zoo’s conservation initiatives, map out their visit, and purchase tickets or memberships.

We scripted and produced targeted radio spots inviting local and guest listeners to explore the prehistoric paradise. Using colossal billboards, imaginative social media posts and email marketing, we informed broad audiences about the upcoming experience, earning tremendous attendance throughout the activation.

Meta Ads Clicks Over Previous Year
Cost Per Click Dropped
Click Through Rate
Best of Show and Gold Addy Winner
three signs from the Zoo Dawn of the Dinosaurs campaign


When looking specifically at the Meta Ads we produced between June 1 and August 31, 2023, we saw many positive statistics that suggest our approach was successful. First, our Clicks were up 169% in 2023 over the previous year. Our Cost Per Click dropped from $2.52 to $0.86 (a 66% improvement), while our Click Through Rate jumped from just 0.26% to 0.72% (a 180% increase). Based on the audience insights with which DSI’s research provided us, we were able to customize behaviors and interests for our Meta Ads build, as well as serve targeted ads that produced direct engagements. Alongside all of these improvements, our YoY spend rate remained relatively flat, meaning that the impact of each success is more impactful because it was achieved without a corresponding increase in spending.

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Silhouette of parent and child looking at dinosaurs in jungle setting
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The people who made it happen.
  • Chris Cable
    VP, Creative
  • Katie Marshall
    Senior Art Director
  • Ben Maxey
    Art Director, Lead Motion
  • Lisa Schweikert
    Motion Designer
  • Kate Ambos
    VP, Client Services
  • Caroline Duggan
    Program Manager
  • Bonnie Adams
    Influencer and Experiential Manager
  • Jessica Thompson
    Associate Media Director
  • Tisha Clapp
    Senior Media Operations Specialist
  • Yojna Katre
    Media Planner/Buyer
  • Brad Carpenter
    VP, Engagement Marketing