I’ve been thinking about the soon to be opened Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and its marketing meetings during the course of its development. Like most aquariums they would have revolved around visitor approval ratings. Even though public aquariums are popping up all across the world at an impressive rate, and that some aquariums have reduced their visitor admission fees because of higher than expected attendance levels, it’s fair to say that most aquariums will undergo an element of disapproval and concern from special interest groups and even possibly members of the general public at large.
No doubt the subject of sharks comes up in these meetings. I can imagine everyone sitting around the board table discussing the absolute necessity for shark exhibits if for no reason, and there are some good reasons, other than to simply draw in the crowds in order to secure its necessary admission levels to guarantee its own survival.
Ironically, this thought brings me straight away across the country to an exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium where the famous YouTube video of the two otters was recorded by a mom with her family. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at it here and even if you have already seen it, take another look, it’s captivating. This video has been viewed on YouTube more than 19 million times and holds the record for being one of the highest viewed ever. Now that’s what I call an attendance grabber.
What can we learn from this? An experienced marketing friend said it boils down to being furry or fierce when it comes to public attractions. Maybe a bit of both? What are your thoughts on exhibiting sharks in public aquariums? What do you like best a tunnel or a big big, big tank. What about the otters?