Frank Buck Zoo is a small zoo in a small town. Although today the zoo is experiencing a massive market penetration, the zoo’s lack of identity and differentiation means future success is dependent on creating strong repeatable experiences for it’s local / regional resident visitors.
I stumbled upon this YouTube video while researching sea otters on the web for inspiration for a new exhibit. I'm sure most of you have seen it before, as, according to YouTube, its the most watched animal video of all time. But, its an excellent example of the human-animal connection occurring at a zoo (or aquarium, as in this case). At first glance, you wouldn't think the design of the exhibit would have anything to do with this connection. Its all about the otters. Its always about the otters when you're dealing with an otter exhibit...People love otters. And, I'm just as guilty as the next girl.
Think about it though. The exhibit isn't anything special, from what I can see from the video, but, special thought was given to how the guests would view the furry little floating faces. Sea Otters spend most of their time on exhibit in their pool. They dive and swim, but mostly, they float around on their backs, pudgy bellies exposed to the sun. Placing the visitors above the water level looking down into the pool allows the guest to capture this cute moment (that's actually quite common, as it is part of the natural behavior of the otters).
Remember...cute sells. And, cute equals connection. This video proves it 10,000,000+ times!