Savage Kingdom on Nat Geo Wild follows the epic struggle for survival among families of lions, hyenas and wild dogs in the African Savute. In order to drive viewers and word of mouth for the premiere of Season 2, together with Wildlife’s team we set out to highlight the human characteristics of these animals and show how similar family dynamics can be, even in the wild. The aim was to reach a younger audience with the campaign, target viewers who might not be the typical audience for this type of show and make sure the series stood out from the pack of similar wildlife shows.


Knowing the week of Thanksgiving was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the country’s focus on family dinners, complicated relationships and less-than-civil interactions, an impressive Thanksgiving feast was devised to bring attention to Savage Kingdom.

What better way to remind people of our animalistic urges than to unleash a family of lions on a bountiful Thanksgiving meal and see what happens. In partnership with the world-famous Columbus Zoo we set the table and invited a pride of lions to show us their savage side. We worked together with Wildlife to create a four-camera, live broadcast setup with prime viewing positions around the lion display to stream the meal on Facebook Live for worldwide viewing on mobile and desktop.

Telescope’s real time solutions helped to gamify the event with a variety of graphics, similar to what viewers would see during a sporting event – using applications such as: title graphics, on-air comments, interactive polls to make viewers a part of the action. This included achievement badges for the lions’ activity, headshots of each lion with name, height, weight and other factoids that we could incorporate into the broadcast in real-time.

We asked users to weigh in on the menu, predict what food our guests would eat first and even used a starting lineup graphic to introduce the wild participants. Lion experts were on hand to provide real-time insight and respond to user comments from the Facebook feed, answered back on-screen with our custom lower third graphics and tickers.


Our timely Facebook live stream was a massive success for the premiere of season 2 and the larger Nat Geo Wild brand at large. The high-quality production values and rare look at pride dynamics during feeding time hooked our audience and propelled the live-stream to more than 596k views and a reach of almost 2 million people. Our viewers engaged with 8.2k+ reactions, 1.4k+ shares, 3.9k+ comments and generated a sizeable audience for the season premiere just a couple days later.

This commentary on the traditions of family dinners resonated across the Internet, with #SavageThanksgiving trending during our one-hour live stream. ABC News visited the Columbus Zoo and ran a story about the unusual event, earning air-time for the client and a chance to talk to a wider audience about the stunt and Savage Kingdom itself with awareness for Thanksgiving dinner peaking. We reached existing fans of the show, branched out to new demographics and even got a re-tweet from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.


2017 Shorty Awards Finalist, Pets & Animals: Nat Geo Wild – Savage Thanksgiving