Updating a bear of a website for a beloved classic brand.
CHALLENGE: Jellystone Park Camp Resorts take family camping to a whole new level and have enjoyed wild success for over 50 years. But in 2020 – with 75 independently owned and operated parks – its cumbersome website needed taming. Our challenge was to modernize the online experience for families and simplify the backend for franchisee admin.
SOLUTION: Leverage the timeless Yogi & Friends theme in showcasing the endless activities that set the parks apart and bring families together. On the development side, create an ADA-compliant and SEO-optimized CMS website with a seamless user journey and franchisee-friendly backend.
STORY: Yogi Bear’s story began in 1958 as a mischievous, pic-a-nic basket-loving bear on the Hanna Barbera show Huckleberry Hound. He was the first breakout character in animated television, earning his own show in 1961. In 1969, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park ™ Camp-Resorts was founded with a single park in a small Wisconsin town. Today it’s a thriving chain of more than 75 family-oriented campgrounds across the US and Canada. Each Jellystone Park location is franchised by Leisure Systems, Inc.
With the beloved Yogi and his friends at its center, the camp-resorts are unlike any other campground, offering robust amenities such as splashgrounds, jumppads, outdoor laser tag, mini-golf and daily character interactions. The overall experience makes it distinctly different from its largest competitor, KOA.
Yogi’s upbeat, happy-go-lucky nature is fundamental to his everlasting appeal and it was clear to us the concept and design of the website should embrace that fun-loving spirit. And given the necessity of creating a seamless user journey and backend experience, development had to play a key role in driving the design.
The previous Jellystone website had two different backend systems. While Leisure Systems controls the corporate side of the site, once a visitor clicks through to a particular park’s landing page, that content is controlled by franchisee owners.
The solution? Build one new comprehensive system to connect multiple pieces together. This also included giving corporate and franchise teams various levels of access to edit all or some of the front-end data. For example, we had to ensure that a franchisee owner could edit the park-specific details but not the corporate details of the site. We also made it easy for the corporate staff to add new franchisees to the site – they essentially fill out a form and that helps the corporate team populate items on the front end (a feature our client particularly has called out saying it just makes his job easier).
To drive the target audience to the new website, a multi-channel campaign was spun off from the concept and content.
The results have been impressive.
- Despite the onset of Covid-19 in 2020 and a reduction of attraction offerings, Jellystone Park still finished the year 2020 up 10% vs 2019
- 2021 was up 40% vs 2020
- Franchise growth is up – 8 new locations will join in 2022