Image Credit: Inquisitr
If you haven’t heard about April the giraffe, you must be living under a rock. The 15-year old giraffe resides at the Animal Adventure Park in New York and is currently the subject of the biggest baby watch of 2017. April is 16 months pregnant with her fourth calf and is projected to give birth any day now.
Now, this miracle of life isn’t what makes April so special, but rather the immense following she has acquired. She has taken news outlets by storm, providing Animal Adventure Park with an unexpected and impressive amount of media attention. Her fame has caused the park staff to create http://www.aprilthegiraffe.com, which includes a live webcam to track April’s progress 24/7. Her popularity has gone global and her passionate followers have formed their own deeply invested community.
April is almost two months past her due date, which has added to the suspense surrounding her delivery. On an average day, April’s live stream attracts thousands of viewers and comments being published faster than once a minute.
April and her calf are a public relations goldmine for Animal Adventure. Every day that she is overdue she provides the park with invaluable publicity. The park sells official gear, has a “giraffeemoji” and has partnered with the local Hilton hotel to create the “Exclusive April the Giraffe Overnight Package.”
Animal Adventure has taken advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity, and rightly so. Even once April delivers her calf, there are countless other publicity opportunities like a contest to name the baby and selling merchandise to commemorate the event.
When customers/spectators feel personally invested in an animal and their narrative, it is a recipe for success. The attention following April is something that can be duplicated by any zoo or animal park across the country. Those who are looking to attract a similar following should take note, and hope they have their own version of #babywatch coming soon.