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Branding Challenges of Marketing Large-Scale Events

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

When you're marketing a large-scale event that appeals to multiple audiences, the branding needs to be flexible. Christine Warren, Marketing Director at the Houston Zoo, talks about how they addressed some of those issues with Zoo Lights.

Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I am Robin Tooms, Vice President of Strategy at Savage. And my guest today is Christine Warren, Marketing Director at the Houston Zoo. Christine, welcome to Brandonomics.

Christine: Thank you for having us Robin.

Robin: Well great. Well, we want to talk today about Zoo Lights, which is this annual holiday-themed event that the Houston Zoo has launched. And I want to know what branding challenges you had around launching an event of this scale.

Christine: Well, there were several things that we needed to take into consideration. One of them was just the fact that we knew this event was going to appeal to a lot of different audiences and we needed to convey that to them. We needed to reach young couples, families with kids, older high school kids, all these different groups. So that was one of the things we addressed. And also this event went on for 44 nights, so we needed to make sure that we were able to sustain our marketing and not just have it kind of hit hard at the beginning and then fizzle out. We needed to make sure that people were talking about us for that entire time.

Robin: Right, so that is a big challenge. So you had lots of stakeholders, lots of time. How did you do this – solve this from a branding perspective?

Christine: Well, we started with a logo design. That’s really where we wanted to be able to have enough flexibility with a logo that we could reach these different audiences. So there was one version that was created that featured sort of a friendly tiger and that was used for our kid-themed and aimed marketing. And the marketing that was aimed towards some of our older audiences didn’t incorporate that feature.

Robin: Mm-hmm.

Christine: So we started by creating a logo that had a lot of flexibility for us and allowed us to reach the different audiences.

Robin: Well, thank you, Christine, for sharing that branding insight. This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


The Houston Zoo provides housing, meals, medical care and education for more than 6,000 permanent resident animals. Its mission is to provide a fun, unique and inspirational experience fostering appreciation, knowledge and care for the natural world for each of their more than 1.84 million annual guests.

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