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Integrated campaigns are a fairly standard tactic these days; the blending of online and offline elements to create a seamless campaign whole. But while sought after the cross-over isn’t always forthcoming. Which makes the current NottsTV campaign all the more impressive for having achieved it, and achieved it in high volume.

NottsTV is one of the new local TV stations and is due to launch at the end of May. A week or so ago their launch campaign got underway with the eye-catching blue ‘Ey Up’ ducks appearing on marketing around the city.

But these rather cute little ducks also started appearing around the city with the instruction on the bottom ‘If found, take a pic and share it!’ with the address of the station’s Facebook page and Twitter.

In a week the campaign had received 2 million views online – pretty impressive in a city which has a population of 306,000 (the population of Nottinghamshire isĀ 1,091,500 but NottsTV are focused on and around the city). Check out #blueduck to see some of the pics people have sent in.

Why is the blue duck campaign so successful?

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Well, it takes a remarkably simple idea and does it very well.

In the blue duck they’ve created a visual with local resonance ( for those who aren’t local, ‘ey up duck’ is your greeting round here and ‘duck’ your term of endearment) as well as a physical object that is quickly becoming a sought after item.

It’s the physical item – in this case the blue rubber duck – that is probably unusual in integrated campaigns with the on and offline being thought of in terms of channels rather that need to complement rather than spaces that need to cross-over.

It’s probably down to NottsTV having a savvy team in place that the creation of the object has driven the success in both online and offline channels.

And it’ll certainly be interesting to see how the marketing campaign translates to viewing figures once the station launches and to see how their brand develops in the city.

Lessons for local government?

I think there’s five things (at least) that local government could take from the NottsTV success:

  • Think local – people and place are key to local government. Make it less about your organisation’s identity and more about the way people identify themselves and the place they live in to really resonate. The ‘I Love Hackney’ campaign is a good example of this, in a local government context.
  • Think integration – and not just of channels but real world objects / spaces too. And skills in the teams behind it. You need someone who knows each channel inside out and how to squeeze the success out of it, then you need to work out how it all comes together cohesively as one.
  • Think amplification – one of the things NottsTV has done to boost their message further online is to get well known local people or organisations to take part in sharing a selfie with the duck – this helps you reach audiences who aren’t looking for you, or what you do. Don’t just think owned, think earned.
  • Think emotions – the little blue duck is a cute little thing and whether you dig the campaign or not it brings in a sense of fun. Find ways of making people what to be a part of what you’re doing. Fun can change behaviours – at a recent event Carl Haggerty flagged up the Fun Theory videos as an example of this. Not all local gov services lend themselves to this but it’s a useful tactic to have in your bag for those that do.
  • Think outcomes as well as outputs – does this really need saying? Of course the 2 million views that NottsTV has had for its campaign so far are impressive but the real proof of success in the outcome. Are you making sure separating out the two in your campaigns?

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I’m in the shortlisted in the local government category of the Digital Leader 100 Awards. If you’d like to vote for me you can do so here until 2 June 2014 – thanks!

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