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Have you been a-gromiting yet?

We’ve had a cracking start to the summer with the launch of Gromit Unleashed, a ground-breaking public art trail.

Devised by long-standing Spirit client the Grand Appeal and  Aardman Animations, Gromit Unleashed is designed to raise funds towards a multi-million expansion of Bristol Children’s Hospital.

For several months, we’ve been working behind the scenes as part of the core team, helping to shape the event. Our main focus has been on developing a PR strategy to build excitement before the launch and maintain momentum throughout the project until the autumn, when 80 giant decorated Gromit sculptures will be auctioned off to the highest bidders.

Following an initial project launch in November, we spent several months building interest in the project from sponsors, artists and schools to help the Appeal secure the partners needed to deliver the trail.

Then we turned our attention to building anticipation amongst the wider public, locally, nationally and – harnessing the power of the global Wallace & Gromit brand – internationally. We gradually drip-fed stories about celebrity artists to the press and worked individually with key media to ensure they had bespoke content and exclusives that worked well for them.

We planned our main press launch immediately before the Gromit trail hit the streets in July. It needed to capture the imagination of the public and the media, while offering strong moving pictures for TV and still images for print press.

The event saw Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park drive the Harbourside steam train into the city with a dozen 5ft individually designed sculptures on board, before Gromberry (pictured) took to the skies for his debut photo shoot.

Securing coverage on BBC Breakfast in the morning helped attract more press to the launch where hundreds of people lined the route, providing a carnival atmosphere and powerfully conveying the real excitement that had been generated around the project.

Despite Glastonbury and a busy news agenda, highlights included national broadcast coverage on BBC Breakfast, Sky News, ITN and Newsround, print coverage in The Independent, Metro and Event Magazine (Mail on Sunday) and on national news websites including Yahoo, MSN and BBC Online.

To date Gromit Unleashed has made the front page of The Bristol Post a whopping 14 times as well as the cover of several magazines and has also been picked up extensively by BBC Points West, ITV Westcountry and local radio stations.

Three weeks into the trail, the project is becoming such a success that a new term, ‘Gromiting’ has been coined to explain the art of spotting Gromits.

And there’s still several weeks to go if you haven’t had a chance to go out Gromiting yet yourselves.

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