Duckja vu?

To celebrate the launch of MediaWorks’ new channel FOUR this weekend, Special Group decided to create a massive inflatable duck and, after filming it for a channel ident, berthed it in the Auckland viaduct for passersby to marvel at (puntastic kudos to Tim Newman for coining the phrase ViaDuck). Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s oversized aquatic birds have been deployed in cities in Europe, Asia and South America, so no-one ever claimed it was an original idea. But not only has the giant yellow duck been done overseas, it’s also been done in New Zealand—and not too long ago either.

Back in 2008, TBWA\ was tasked with ramping up enthusiasm for the Adidas Auckland Marathon and it used a bit of military psychology to get runners motivated.

“In times of extreme stress or pain, think of yourself as a rubber duck. You cannot be crushed, you cannot be broken, you will rise to the surface, you will always bounce back.”

Every runner received a duck in their entry package and it was a big, successful campaign, with the marathon selling out eight weeks ahead of schedule. A photo of the duck even made it on to the second page of the Herald. So does this show that we’ve all got very short memories? Or does it show that giant yellow ducks are timeless promotional tools? Probably both.

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