Article by Marissa Kelly | esPResso Committee Member
Over the past year, live streaming as a tactic of sharing online content has taken off wildly. While controversial on occasion, it has proven to display light-hearted content at times as well, especially over the course of the last few months. This past winter, Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY started its own live stream of one of its very own residents, April the giraffe. April soon became an Internet sensation when it was announced she was pregnant. Fans watched on through their Facebook feeds and the Park’s website for latest updates on the giraffe and her unborn calf.
The live stream was a huge success, drawing in nearly five million viewers a day at most. April garnered so much attention online that fans began to place bets on when she would give birth. Each day was a waiting game, and the live stream continued to gain buzz online and by word of mouth.
After several months, fans finally got what they wished for on Saturday, April 15 as they watched the live birth of April’s calf. In the early hours of the morning, Animal Adventure Park took to Twitter to tweet out “It’s time!!!” to alert those who were interested in watching the birth. The calf was born at approximately 10 a.m., and like always, numerous headlines stormed the web, as well as various social media postings.
Using live stream was a unique tactic taken by Animal Adventure Park. It gathered the attention of social media users all over the country. For this reason, a conversation was opened up online that connected multiple users. It also brought an extreme amount of media coverage and attention to the town of Harpursville, which is three hours north of New York City. Now that the live stream is officially over and April’s calf is born, the question is whether or not the popularity of Harpursville will remain.
The park does have the potential to stay in the limelight with the recent birth of the calf. A contest was recently announced to name April’s offspring. The contest is also acting as a promotion for the park, where each vote for every name costs $1. The proceeds of the contest will go to the Giraffe Conservation Fund, an epilepsy charity and enhancements to the park.
Overall, Animal Adventure Park has used the birth of April’s calf to their advantage. Their live stream was a major success, opening up multiple conversations across various social networking platforms. The park is continuing to keep April’s calf in the limelight by opening up a contest. These promotions and online tactics are a smart choice for the park in hopes that they bring in larger crowds and create an even stronger online presence.