Activating events in public spaces puts a particular emphasis on maximising unique environmental opportunities. Of course, all branded and sponsorship activations we work on maximise opportunities in order to deliver results, however, with outdoor public events, the experience must be so strong and speak in such a clear, common language that it delivers impact to passers-by almost immediately and to those completely unfamiliar with the brand. In the case of Daffodil Day, the elements we had at our disposal were the official Daffodil Day hashtag, the personal connection a lot of people (unfortunately) have with cancer and the bright golden amber that is synonymous with the daffodil. We had four days and a city full of people to mobilise these elements and create a captivating community engagement event.
Federation Square in Melbourne is a wide, open space that sits adjacent to the city’s busiest train station. It also acts as a thoroughfare for thousands of CBD workers every day, in the heart of the ‘gloomy’ city. In order to maximise these opportunities, we immediately saw sense in following a ‘big and bright’ creative direction – oversized installations, bright yellow tones and activations that required physical involvement. In terms of scale, the ‘Hashtag Wall’ made the biggest impression – standing a considerable 3m tall by 6m wide and beckoning passers-by with its fun selfie props and flower pot edging. What eventuated was a clear indication that the client was dedicated to new and socially-based method of communication, which delivered a pleasing increase in usage of the official hashtag and purely online ‘Daffodil Dedications’.
The ‘Message Wall’ greeted visitors at the busiest end of Federation Square. With its heart-felt greetings and reflections from those who have been touched by cancer, it immediately created a personal connection that drove engagement and inspired reflection. The popularity of the ‘Message Wall’ was beyond expectation and provided the client with ideas to explore for future iterations of Daffodil Day.
Sitting directly in line-of-sight to the masses passing through the activation space was the ‘Growing Wall’ – another interactive experience – however this time the magic developed over the four days of the campaign as visitors continued to attach a fresh daffodil to the latticing. The ‘Growing Wall’ provided visitors with something to be involved with immediately and personally, as well as for the duration of the activation, even as an observer. It tapped into the Cancer Councils philosophies around unity and sharing in the fight against cancer, and for this reason was one of the most talked about elements of the activation.
As an experiential agency, we understand that activation often needs to meet more than just one objective and speak to more than just one audience. Whilst the interactive ‘Walls’ at this year’s Daffodil Day activation at Federation Square attracted a new audience via personalised content, there remained a solid base of people who wanted to show their support, as they always have done, by simply making a donation or purchasing a piece of branded merchandise. Critical to this objective was making the entire space function effectively for the different audiences and yet provide moments of interaction between hash-taggers, traditional supporters and Daffodil Day volunteers. By understanding traffic flows, site lines and optimal adjacencies, our event designer created a space that delivered a positive and memorable experience for all stakeholders.