Little Clay Men Get Big Reaction!

In the early hours of Wednesday 16th May, 8,000 hand-made clay figures appeared around Manchester’s busiest streets, designed to reflect the rushed, early morning commutes made by those who were most likely to find them.

The public were encouraged to take away the figures for their own enjoyment and share their thoughts, films and photos online. As such, word spread very quickly on twitter of their existence, with many people tweeting pictures and details of their locations, so much so the hashtag #littleclaymen began trending.

The models, designed by artist Lawrence Epps, were placed around the city as part of a campaign to promote the Future Everything festival at MOSI, which celebrates the latest developments in art, music and technology. Lawrence had previously created similar campaigns in London and Stoke.

Whilst many had no idea about their existence and merely stumbled across this brilliant campaign, many were actively on the hunt for them, following tweets from MOSI and FutureEverything as to their impending arrival on the streets. The response was incredible, urging workers to use their lunch breaks to scour areas in which they had been spotted, and taking them as desk mascots!

Rather than trying to directly drive footfall to MOSI, the key objective was to raise awareness of the festival, by giving the public an invested interest even before they had thought about planning a visit.

MOSI has long been one of Manchester’s top tourism destinations, attracting 601,106 visitors in 2010, topped only by The Lowry. With the festival running for another day, it remains to be seen how successful the campaign was in driving footfall. What it has accomplished, however, is successfully allowing the public to interact with the festival, taking it out of the confines of the museum and into the forefront of peoples’ minds, a position which many destinations are constantly battling to be in.

(Image courtesy of www.sykey.org)

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