Lowe Roche hires celebrity spokesbug for Toronto Zoo ad campaign
Bugzibitz II, an exhibit featuring hundreds of the world's most interesting and exotic bugs, returns to the Toronto Zoo for its second year. To raise awareness of the event, the zoo and its ad agency, Lowe Roche Toronto, have hired a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach named Jeb to act as spokesbug.
"Jeb represents just how exciting bugs really are," says Shanna Young, of the Toronto Zoo. "He's a good choice for the zoo because he proves to us that the smallest species are sometimes the most interesting."
Interesting indeed. Starring in a short documentary chronicling his adventures from his homeland to the Toronto Zoo, Jeb gives us a glimpse into the glamorous life of a celebrity bug. He also shows us his wilder side in a music video he and his band created specifically for Bugzibitz II.
When asked how he felt about the upcoming event, Jeb proclaimed, "Being a spokesbug rocks! I not only get to represent the zoo, but bugs from all around the world. It’s a big responsibility, but I'm honoured and excited to be a part of it. It’s a pretty big deal."
Insects in the zoo's permanent year-round exhibits are also excited about the arrival of Bugzibitz II. Ryan, who is a Giant Baboon Spider from Africa remarked, "Jeb is an inspiration to all bug-kind. If the other bugs coming to the exhibit are even one tenth as interesting as he is, this should be a pretty exciting event."
Notes from Director Christopher Hutsul:
About a week before the shoot, I visited Jeb, the star of the Zoo short, at Jim Lovisek's house. Jim wrangles all kinds of animals, but his true love is insects (his dog likes insects too; while the giant roaches scampered across the coffee
table, the dog just stared, salivating). I have to admit, I could see why Jim was so fond of these critters. Not only are they beautiful in a sort of rugged, prehistoric sense, but they're actually kind of charming.
The bugs and I bonded that day as we talked about performance and tone for the upcoming shoot. The meeting really paid off: you'll notice that the Jeb was a
dynamic actor in the short. He was still and calm in some scene, and frisky and active in others.
Jim will tell you that he was largely responsible for this. He had about a dozen bugs stored in coolers set at a range of temperatures. When we needed a still bug for a dramatic scene, Jim gave us a chilled bug. When we needed an frisky
bug for an action sequence, he gave us a warmer, peppier one. A gentle tap once in a while promoted antennae movement, which, you know, can really help hammer
home an important line.
I think Jeb (and his eleven body doubles) really shined during the music video shoot. It kind of magical how those little guys clutched onto the instruments and wailed away like that. I guess some of us were just born to rock.
Agency: Lowe Roche, Toronto
Chief Creative Officer: Geoffrey Roche
Creative Director: Christina Yu
Associate Creative Director: Joseph Bonnici
Art Directors: Chris Avgerinos, Basil Cowieson
Copywriter: Rob Sturch
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