The Melbourne Zoo is the oldest zoo in Australia. It was opened in October of 1862 and was initially important for acclimating domestic animals after their long trip to Australia. In 1870, it grew to house more exotic animals and gardens. At present, it focuses on the fight against the extinction of wild animals. Throughout most of 2020, however, the zoo has been temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order for it to continue to provide its fans with a view of their animals in real time, they’ve decided to launch a live stream called Animals at Home. “Many Zoo members are still paying for their zoo membership and donors have given us money to help maintain our wildlife preservation work. That’s why we wanted to give these people something back for their support,” says Digital Communications Manager Gigi Silk. “But, people from other time zones found themselves watching live streams while the animals were asleep. That’s why we used overlay graphics and a QR code directly in our live stream, which reroutes viewers to a pre-recorded video,” adds.
Four AXIS P3225-LV Mk II Network Cameras that have been installed in the Melbourne Zoo in animal enclosures provide an image with HDTV 1080p resolution. This versatile camera provides outstanding video quality in both strong and poor light conditions. The CamStreamer App ensures constant streaming video directly to YouTube. “Live streams worked great with overseas audiences and received global attention. But, the majority of animals were asleep at night and we wanted to add something that people could really enjoy even at night. With the help of the CamOverlay App, we added QR codes to various live broadcasts overnight that would reroute people to pre-recorded videos of the zookeeper‘s telling people about the animals,” Ms. Silk explains. The codes are a part of the graphics that the Zoo has created for each animal, which are automatically launched every day at a pre-defined time. When people use the QR code to reroute to their website, tracking via Google Analytics can be used, making it possible to make marketing evaluations of individual visits or create targeted campaigns.
The staff of Melbourne Zoo came up with more great ways to use graphics directly in their video. This helps them retain their members who can’t visit the zoo at the moment and also raises awareness among other people around the world. “The feedback that we’ve received via e-mail has been hugely positive, and our members love the interviews with our keepers,” Ms. Silk adds. This solution can be used not only for rerouting to a different video, but also to a website with a request for a contribution or gift. People will know where and how they can support the zoo, e.g. by buying food, adopting an animal or supporting the keepers, allowing them to see the results of the aid they’ve provided.