Thursday, August 4

Central Park Peacock

I guess it's just not as much fun the second or third time around.

A couple of days ago a beautiful peacock escaped from the Central Park Zoo and found refuge on the window ledge of a 5th Avenue apartment.  Good taste or what?  Just like the escapees before like the Central Park peahen and of course the now infamous Bronx Zoo Cobra, this peacock captured a lot of attention here in New York.  And then tried to ignite a social media frenzy.

But nobody could create a social media frenzy like @bronxzoocobra.  She became an instant hit on Twitter as she reported on her travels around Manhattan with a very witty sense of humor.  It caught on like wild fire and was very entertaining to watch.  She even got a real name from her "tour":  Mia for "missing in action."  She had well over 200,000 followers on Twitter and a Facebook page to host SNL.  Quite the social media impact in a few very short days.

And now others are trying.  When the peahen escaped from the Central Park Zoo there was little fanfare.  Our little peacock tried as well but it just didn't catch on.  Only 2,000 follower on Twitter, although it was a regular feature on local news.  It's now back at the zoo (flew there by itself, maybe it knew no one was following!?).

Lesson learned here?  An orginal creative idea will capture a lot of attention, but if you are going to try to replicate it again then there has to be something original and creative added to the second generation.  Sort of like when a brand tries to add a a line extension or a number two player tries to copy the market leader.

It was a nice try.  But I guess you always remember your first.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect


  1. Jim -

    Not familiar with the story out here in the Midwest, but beyond the second time around angle, it strikes me that the picture says it all: the peacock's whereabouts were quickly known, as opposed to the mystery in the story of the snake. That plus snakes trigger emotions (fear, ickiness, etc.) that peacock's just don't seem to do. With less emotion to work with, the sense of what's going on just doesn't develop as strongly to make someone follow the story.


  2. So I guess you're saying: "content is king"!!! So true! Jim.

  3. Bang on Jim! Could the same be said for Old Spice?

  4. Totally ... although they tried to refresh with some new content and a new angle, but I believe missed the boat with relevance. Fabio just didn't connect like Mustafa did. Jim.

  5. I agree this did not have the sizzle of Mia. Not to mention it ended up being a much shorter news cycle as well. I also think the allure of a snake is much more mysterious and quite frankly "sexier" than a peacock. Think Cleopatra. But...can you imagine if we had today's social media channels when Pale Male and Lola were the talk of the town? (2004ish, I think)

  6. The peacock sent me a couple of tweets ... a little upset with me that I hinted (well maybe not hinted) at the fact that he was less interesting than the cobra! Oops. JIM.