Giant rubber ducky puts Hong Kong mall on map

How an integrated strategy surrounding the floating fowl generated more than a month of publicity and enhanced footfall for a local shopping destination.

The work described here won Greater China PR Campaign of the Year at the PRWeek Awards Asia.

Objective

Hong Kong shopping destination Harbour City set the target of organising at least one mega event each year to bring amusement beyond shopping to the public. In 2013, it invited Dutch conceptual artist Florentijn Hofman to exhibit his classic masterpiece – a gigantic inflatable ‘Rubber Duck’ in Greater China for the very first time near Harbour City. Standing at 16.5m tall, it was a free exhibition and Hong Kong’s first-ever maritime installation. The objective was to apply local execution to an international project to put Harbour City and Hong Kong on the world map in terms of marketing excellence, and to position Harbour City from a leading mall to as a ‘must-visit’ landmark representing Hong Kong.

Strategy

The Rubber Duck is an existing project, which has been to 13 cities. However, the previous campaigns didn’t generate much publicity. The Hong Kong mall implemented an integrated marketing strategy to maintain the momentum of the 39-day exhibition (which is the longest ever) via traditional media, online/offline activities, crossover with celebrities, e.g. Asian movie star, Andy Lau, and live events to elicit emotional and rational responses, Rubber Duck view restaurants and themed dishes, sales of limited edition premiums for charity, tailor-made WeChat Emoticon of Rubber Duck and specific Sina Webpage.

Results

The Rubber Duck Art Exhibition was by far the most successful mega event for Harbour City. The exhibition served as an invaluable platform to promote Harbour City from local and regional to international by creating an influential worldwide topic. It contributed a PR breakthrough, which bringing Harbour City to global eyeballs and achieved our new level of engagement.

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