The sight and sound of seagulls are a quintessential part of seaside life but DCA is helping one Cornish town to stop some of the birds’ naughtier habits from having a negative impact on visitors.
Asked by St Ives Business Improvement District (BID) to find an innovative way of solving the problem of gulls swooping down at people with food, our team was tasked with taking this issue and transforming it in to a positive.
Our objective was to stop people seeing the birds – a protected species – as pests and instead begin to understand their actions and adapt, allowing man and bird to both enjoy their time in the popular Cornish seaside town.
The solution was a fun art trail with a serious awareness message. The trail involves 12 seagull models, decorated by a local artist, school, business or group, placed in key locations around the town. Each is completely unique, colourful, distinctive and representative of the community of St Ives. Accompanying each of the gulls is a letter, which when combined, will spell out a 12-letter phrase. Armed with a map, visitors and locals alike complete the trail with the correct phrase and present it to the Tourist Information Centre to win the participant a bag of themed traditional seaside sweet treats.
The map also includes top tips on how to live alongside the town’s resident gulls. The advice ranges from learning gull language to how to stop your lunch ending up being snaffled by our opportunist feathered friends.
After coming up with the initial idea, DCA then planned, budgeted and devised the entire campaign in-house. We expertly designed and produced the map, sourced the gulls and materials for decorating and worked closely with St Ives BID and the local community, including the internationally renowned art destination Tate St Ives, to create and place the eye-catching gulls.
Our experienced team also coordinated a launch of the scheme to coincide with the start of the school summer holidays and saw instant positive results for St Ives BID. Regional newspapers, magazines, radio and TV channels covered the story with the Sunday Times also giving the campaign national exposure. We also established a new Instagram account and boosted the BIDs current social media presence to reflect a growing interest in the campaign.
Carl Lamb, St Ives BID Manager, said: “We have been really impressed with the scope and scale of this year’s campaign. DCA worked with us to understand our needs and then came up with an imaginative and exciting campaign.
“Our summer seagull art trail is proving to be a real talking point with visitors and locals which is exactly what we wanted – the more people discuss it, the more we can promote and get our message out there.
“We have worked with DCA on a series of seagull campaigns and every year they come up with another creative and engaging project for us.”
Previous St Ives BID summer campaigns driven by DCA to raise awareness of seagulls include a Snapchat Geofilter with a ‘don’t feed the gulls’ message, and 2016’s The Daily Gull, a mock newspaper printed onto fish and chip paper. This creative campaign even saw DCA scoop a top industry award.
To find out how DCA can help get your message across in a creative and engaging way, speak to us today on 01752 858901.