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Mud Soldier

basics
Industry: Transport & Tourism
Media:Design & Branding
Style: Minimalism
descriptioncnen
Synopsis
Flanders Fields is a highly touristic region in Belgium. But in 2016, it experienced a dramatic drop in visitors. Particularly amongst their largest group of foreign tourists: the British. So, to move them and incite the British to visit Flanders Fields again, tourism organisation Visit Flanders wanted to leverage the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele. A battle that happened in Flanders Fields and where more than half of the 500,000 victims were British.
Strategy
In 2016, Flanders Fields experienced a huge drop in visitors, particularly amongst their largest group of foreign tourists: the British. To stop the decline and incite the British to come back, we wanted to touch them right in their heart. So, we leveraged the 100thanniversary of the battle of Passchendaele. Because this battle happened in Flanders fields and killed nearly 500,000 people in less than three months, more than half of them British. Which is why we decided to unveil the Mud Soldier during a press conference in the heart of London: in bustling Trafalgar Square.
Relevancy
The Mud Soldier was a live event directly addressed to British people. The ephemeral statue was placed in a symbolic and busy place in London: Trafalgar Square. The event was response driven, as the aim of the Mud Soldier was to remind British people to come and visit Flanders Fields. The statue was unveiled for the centenary of the battle of Passchendaele, in which more than half of the victims were British.
Outcome
The Mud Soldier resonated in Press, TV, radio and online reaching 100 million people in over 65 countries 96% of online conversations about Flanders Fields in the context of the campaign were positive #Passchendaele100 was a worldwide trending topic on Twitter on July 31st. 11.4 times increase in website visitors in UK 9% increase in foreign visitors to Flanders Fields in 2017, compared with the same period the year before (Aug-Sept) € 4,686,767 ticket sales all year, 11.6% more than in 2016
Execution
The Mud Soldier is a statue that was placed on the North Terrace of Trafalgar Square, right in the heart of London, from 25/07 to 28/07. This ephemeral art installation, about 8 feet high (240cm), was sculpted with sand and mud from Passchendaele in Flanders Fields. It has been specially designed to slowly dissolve as it was exposed to rain, and functioned as an emotional reminder of the soldiers that disappeared by drowning. We asked the sculptor to create a statue that would not dissolve too quickly. This meant we had to find the right ratio between mud and sand, conducting several real-size tests, so that the Mud Soldier would stand upright for long enough while dissolving in the rain. This was also achieved thanks to a custom-designed watering system.
CampaignDescription
Tourism organisation Visit Flanders reminded the British of the sacrifice and bravery of their ancestors during the battle of Passchendaele that took place in Flanders Fields. Nearly 500,000 soldiers -more than half of them British- died there in less than 3 months. Many of them by drowning, as incessant heavy rain flooded the craters and trenches. So, for the centenary of the battle of Passchendaele, Visit Flanders unveiled “The Mud Soldier” on the North Terrace of Trafalgar Square, right in the heart of London. An ephemeral statue, sculpted with sand and mud taken from Passchendaele in Flanders Fields, that slowly dissolved as it was exposed to the rain. An emotional and almost physical reminder of all those soldiers that disappeared by drowning, in the deadly mud traps of Flanders Fields.
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awards
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Shortlist Direct
Experience Design
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