24 October 2013

Soapbox: Who let the dogs out?

This week’s soapbox presentation came from our Account Exec, Luke who told us all about the ‘Gromit Unleashed’ arts trail which took place in Bristol over the Summer.

This week’s soapbox presentation came from our Account Exec, Luke who told us all about the ‘Gromit Unleashed’ arts trail which took place in Bristol over the Summer. Over the course of the 8 weeks, he visited each of the Gromit statues and reported back to the team here on his progress. We asked him to share a few of his findings with us, and here’s what he had to say…

“Gromit unleashed was a 10 week arts trail in and around Bristol, in order to raise money for the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal.

The grand appeal was established in 1995 and has to date raised over £21 million for the Bristol Children’s hospital. The hospital was in need of a new equipment to retain it’s high standard of care, including a new MRI scanner, so the Grand Appeal pledged to raise £3.5 million through the ‘Gromit Unleashed’ arts trail. The trail featured 5 foot fiberglass statues, designed by famous designers, artists and celebrities including Joanna Lumley, Cath Kidston, Paul Smith and Jools Holland.

Available for download was a ‘Detect-o-Gromit’ app for smart-phones, on which gromit hunters could follow the trail on a map, ticking off Gromits and unlocking exclusive content, which over 30,000 people downloaded!

What the trail gave back to Bristol

I believe that it gave a real sense of community to the city, with people talking to each other, discussing how many statues they’d seen and which statues they we’re hunting for next. It also forced people to visit parts of the city they may have never seen before, and even bought people in to Bristol who hadn’t visited previously.

In terms of tourism, museums and tourist attractions in Bristol saw a 65% increase in numbers of visitors on last year and over 25,000 people visited the ‘Greatest Dog Show on Earth’, which exhibited all of the Gromit statues, over just three days, making national news and attracting visitors from all over the country.

The auction

Each statue was auctioned separately and raised over £2.3 million for the charity by celebrity auctioneer Tim Wonnacott.

A few of the highlights included Pixar’s Buzz Lightyear themed Gromit selling for £65,000, ‘Isambark Kingdog Brunel’ going for £36,000, and Nick Park’s own ‘News Hound’ sculpture making £50,000. The Auction was invite only, but fans of the trail were invited to watch a live stream online.

Why was it such an interesting and important case study?

Charities are finding it increasingly hard to come up with innovative ways to raise money. So instead of asking for donations, this was a clever, fun and creative way to achieve their goal of raising funds for a great cause. Not only did it just raise money for charity, it also gave Bristol something to be really proud of and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Quotes from the Gromit Unleashed Facebook page

“Summer 2013 will always be remembered for the Gromits they brought the city alive and gave pleasure to so many people!”

“I would like to thank you at Gromit Unleashed and everybody we met in Bristol, and in the queue for the Greatest Dog Show on Earth for making this a summer to remember for so many reasons.”

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