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While there were attempts in the 2000s and 2010s to revitalize the show and adapt to newer audiences, efforts were largely unfruitful. With this, the customer insight team was taking note of the dwindling brand awareness of the Wild Kingdom.


Brief Anecdote:

When I was hired by Mutual of Omaha, I called to tell my father the good news and he said “Oh, the Wild Kingdom people?” and my response was “The who?”

The existing site gave us nearly nothing to go off of as it was really a placeholder site at best, long forgotten and abandoned. We gathered all available research and distributed a survey that we hoped would help us answer some lingering questions or give us some inspiration for design as well as conducted a round of competitive analysis. Following that we decided to hold what we refer to as a “mini design sprint” where we borrow the concept of a design sprint from and condense it down to be completed in 3 days with a smaller group of designers and quick meetings with SMEs. During our SME talks, one absolute that came through was we could not update the logo as it was feared if it changed it might lose the nostalgia, which presented a minor inconvenience on design. Another absolute came from legal, stating the name/logo had to be “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” as that was actually the trademarked name despite everyone referring to it simply as “Wild Kingdom”.

In our “mini” design sprint we conducted a UX audit, held stakeholder interviews, had the CI team discuss their research from our target audience, and several design activities such as working on HMWs, mapping, drawing crazy eights, , wireframing, journey mapping, and prototyping. We then conducted usability testing with a screener opting in only those who actively consumed nature conservation media and shared out results the next week.

Notably, our prototype contained:

  • A homepage themed to an “animal of the month”

  • Facts related to the animal of the month

  • A live quiz-poll related to the animal of the month

  • A featured high-lighted reel of videos related to animal of the month

  • An “Ask Peter” section (stakeholder request), where users can submit questions and potentially have them featured on the website.

  • A “WK favorites” playlist

  • A blurb about Mutual of Omaha’s focus on “protection”

  • A Video page featuring categories and recommended playlists

  • A history timeline

  • A link in the global nav titled “Kid Zone” that went nowhere

In one week, we had produced the following summary of results –

Generational Focus

During our sprint, we had discussed at length the gap between the age of users that had nostalgia for Wild Kingdom, and those we wanted to target as a new audience. At the same time, another team UX team member had been working on an assignment to better target Millennials. We put our heads together and questioned the manner in which the company was attempt to gain the attention of that user base. I scanned old episodes of the Wild Kingdom episodes and came across a quote from the original host back in the 60s acknowledging the importance of nature conservation and global warming and we put this forward as being a key quote for the site to show the company’s foresight, commitment, and impact - however it was ruled as “too aggressive”. Oh well, you win some, you lose some (two years later this was the exact approach the marketing team took). Despite the creative brief and meetings expressing desire to reach both generations, attention shifted more to focusing on the 55+ audience who had previously seen the show, something we saw detrimental to the overall goal to the project and desire to make it relatable to a wider audience, but fear had grown that the IP was on its way out and was holding less and less value and had to be capitalized on quickly.

Scope Explosion

One interesting piece of data that came out of our surveys and received real interest during out testing was the idea of former fans of the show being able to share this experience with their children and grandchildren. This led us to create the “Kid Zone” of the website. While it received rave reviews as we included activities such as puzzles, quizzes, origami, videos geared specifically towards kids, we were soon met with our ultimate obstacle – legal.

The battle of the Kid Zone

Long story short, no matter which way we pitched it` (separate site with its own disclaimer, disclaimer upon entering, etc.) legal feared we would be caught attempting to market to children and face penalties. As capturing user data and marketing opportunities was crucial to this effort, we eventually had to drop all content that could be viewed as “for children". This not only resulted in the cut of the Kid Zone, but also the quizzes and “ask peter” section to the homepage. Overall, this delayed the project about 2 months as we had to redesign the site, assigned team members were shifted about due to company restructuring, covid coming into play, and the drop of relevance to the Australian wildfires. Despite this, the project was actually picking up steam as it was announced the company would be filming new Wild Kingdom episodes, developing a new marketing campaign for Mutual of Omaha, and had even grander plans for the website. For the time being, the MVP we finally released.


The project went right on into “Day 2” mode, which is nice since that seems to rarely happen. Another round of stakeholder meetings were held and we organized the new requirements. The new episodes would be called “Protecting The Wild” and the new marketing campaign for Mutual of Omaha was to be “Protect Your Kingdom”. This resulted in a flurry of new projects across the marketing and UX teams as a whole, and constant design, testing, and tweaking iterations as we regularly contributed updates to the site.

There was now a Wild Kingdom marketing team assigned to the project as it was being granted more funds and attention. This team was creating more engagement on our social media platforms, and wanted an area to be able to host articles and other media on the website itself. This led us to also creating a “Newsroom” on the main site that could act as a user-facing repository of the latest posts on the website. This “newsroom” was also a CMS run through Wordpress, so now the marketing team members could create posts and update information on that part of the site without needed to rely on the UX team or UX developers. In time, they requested the newsroom itself become the homepage and eliminate the need to monthly updates on the homepage and featured animals.

All of these updates and features have made it into the current website which can currently be viewed here – As this project finally reached a point of satisfying the immediate needs, we have now started conducting research into an even greater experience as the UX team has gained UX architects willing to promote adopting even more modern designs and ideas to creating an experience that can truly stand on even ground with giants such as national geographic.

Site Mapping

Stakeholder Interviews

Contextual Interviews

Competitive Analysis





Axure RP

Design System





Usability Testing


Optimal Workshop

Survey Monkey

Wild Kingdom was a television series that aired throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s. While there were some attempts at recreating the show, it never saw the same success that it did when it originally aired as one of the first nature documentaries. The show was sponsored by Mutual of Omaha, and the company saw the IP as a very valuable asset.

The company felt it was a shame to let such a valuable asset go to waste and sought to either attempt to revitalize it once more, or at least squeeze some nostalgia out of it before the recognition power had faded completely. With this intent, the marketing team worked very closely with the UX team in rebranding the existing Wild Kingdom website, which at the time was a single all black page with one paragraph describing the show, a few blurbs about the former hosts, and nothing else. At the same time in the global news, there was the Australian wild fires happening. While not looking to take advantage of such a tragedy, the marketing team wanted to use this moment to reestablish the brand and bring attention to conservation and making an impact as a means to support the rescue efforts and overall cause. This added a time-sensitivity to the project not only from the depleting recognition of the brand, but also from a current events front.

The project was “simple” (as the stakeholders put it). In short, we had to:

  • Completely redesign a new site, bringing it more in line with modern websites.

  • Retain the nostalgia of the brand.

  • Feature our entire catalogue of Wild Kingdom episodes on youtube.

  • Create interactive features on the site to retain customer engagement.

  • Promote Mutual of Omaha.

  • Do it in 3 months.

A tall, and somewhat contradictory list in some ways - we had our work cut out for us.

The release of the MVP saw over 1000% increase in site visits from before. This caused the marketing team to shift and start devoting more time to social media efforts and drawing more attention to Wild Kingdom itself. Wild Kingdom returned to being streamed on the air via RFD-TV, and the company even entered a parade float in the Rose Bowl Parade which resulted in millions of impressions.

The Results

New Plans

The Problem

The Process

Wild Kingdom completely new site

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