Rockin’ roach gets kids to the zoo

Who knew cockroaches could rock out? Lowe Roche, apparently. The

Who knew cockroaches could rock out? Lowe Roche, apparently. The

Toronto-based agency’s clever campaign for the Toronto Zoo’s March break ‘Bugzibitz II’ stars a musically inclined Madagascar hissing cockroach named Jeb to get kids excited about bugs. And given the uniquely captivating entertainment quotient, the site’s pass-along-to-a-friend feature will no doubt achieve successful cyber infestation of the target demo.

The campaign, which broke last month, centres on a microsite, www.bugsrock.ca, where users can check out Jeb’s music video and biographical documentary.

‘The insight is that you have to make animals fun for kids,’ explains Shanna Young, executive director, marketing and communications for the Toronto Zoo, adding that while the main target is six to 12, the exhibit should also appeal to teens and young adults. She says she and her team were taken aback when Lowe Roche came back to them with a singing cockroach. ‘Omigod, we were just blown away. It’s so much fun. We weren’t expecting this. It’s such a catchy tune.’

The campaign also included online banners on the YTV, Treehouse and Sympatico MSN sites, as well as print ads in the Toronto Sun. The microsite will stay up for the rest of the year to raise awareness about the zoo’s permanent bug installations. Young is coy about whether they have other plans in store for Jeb’s music video: ‘Right now, it’s just on the website. But who knows…’