~ Partnership with England’s most popular visitor attraction outside of London marks a time of monumental growth for the agency ~

AKA North, the Manchester-based arm of AKA, the independent, fully integrated agency for the arts, culture, leisure, visitor attraction and tourism markets, has been appointed by Chester Zoo to oversee its media strategy, media planning and media buying activities. The account was won following a five-way competitive pitch, having previously been overseen by Carat.

Chester Zoo – named by ALVA (Association of Leading Visitor Attractions) as England’s most visited zoo and most popular visitor attraction outside of London – welcomes over 1.97 million people a year.

The partnership will see AKA North help Chester Zoo elevate its brand and grow engagement with past and prospective visitors. Using data-driven audience strategy and local, regional and national media placement, the agency will work closely with the zoo as it looks to affirm its position as a leading conservation charity and one of the best leisure attractions in the world.

Jennifer Tegg, Head of Marketing at Chester Zoo, cited AKA North’s expertise in promoting visitor attractions as key in the competitive tender process. “AKA North’s knowledge of our target market and impressive ability in growing visitor numbers really impressed us. While AKA North is well-connected to the UK’s media landscape, it’s also located right at the heart of the action – giving us an advantage in terms of regional insight. It’s important for us to work with an agency that’s flexible, agile and creative, and just as passionate as we are about creating lasting memories for our visitors. We’re delighted to say that AKA North ticked all the boxes.”

Gillian Thomson-Woolley, Managing Director at AKA North added: “Chester Zoo is an inspirational and exciting organisation that we’re so delighted to be working with. Considering that it’s such a big attraction in the North West, our work with them further cements our reputation as the leading media agency for getting people to go places in the North. Not only is the win a credit to AKA North’s media planning and buying discipline, but also our commitment in creating better relationships and experiences for our clients’ customers. We look forward to building our relationship with the zoo and showing them what we do best.”

The new account comes at a time of monumental growth for AKA UK as it continues to diversify into new markets. Most recently, AKA North won major media planning and buying tenders for transport network, Transport for Greater Manchester and independent charity, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. AKA UK has also recently been appointed the media planning and buying agency for registered charity, English Heritage, which cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites around the country.