Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's giant public sculpture "Rubber Duck" — literally a gigantic floating rubber duck — has appeared in cities around the globe, floating into waterways and bays from Hong Kong to Pittsburgh.
It also recently floated onto digital signage displays across China as part of this year's Beijing Design Week events.
Chinese digital out-of-home advertising company Phoenix Metropolis Media Technology Co. Ltd., a member company of the Beijing Design Week Organizing Committee, launched a cross-country DOOH campaign as part of Design Week that displayed photos and live video of Rubber Duck on 18 giant digital billboards in 12 major cities across China.
According to an announcement from Phoenix Metropolis Media, the campaign intended to take full advantage of the giant outdoor LED screens to exhibit Rubber Duck on various landmarks in major Chinese cities, to "deliver the positive energy to the public and encourage people to participate in the events of 2013 Beijing Design Week," which ran Sept. 26 through Oct. 3 in the Chinese capital.
"Most of our LED Screens are giant and visible, with vivid and HD-level graphic performance," Phoenix Metropolis Media Senior Marketing Supervisor Daniel Wu said in an email. "When people look at these billboards, they will be fascinated by the immersive, dynamic and real-size image of the Rubber Duck on the screen. These effects cannot be created by any other kinds of OOH media such as traditional outdoor billboard, bus/metro signage or office LCD. So we think the digital billboards are the best ... platform to display The Rubber Duck."
Rubber Duck was created by Hofman in 2007, and as a gift from Amsterdam for this year's Beijing Design Week, an 18-meter-tall (59 feet) version of the official Rubber Duck was scheduled to float in Beijing Garden Expo Park through Sept. 23, according to Phoenix Metropolis Media. The Duck was then set to move to the Summer Palace, where it was scheduled to stay through Oct. 27, the company said.
In partnership with Beijing Design Week, Phoenix Metropolis Media will collect images of both the giant duck and its smaller brethren and display them on digital billboards and DOOH LED screens across the country. The digital signage content was set to include both official Rubber Duck photos and videos and a selection of the user-generated content from Sina Weibo, the most popular social media platform in China. The Rubber Duck campaign began on Sept. 6 and runs until Nov. 1, the company said.
Outdoor LED screens were scheduled to display Rubber Duck in the following cities:
"These 18 digital billboards are all located in main commercial streets and central business areas, targeting a huge flow of people in 12 major cities of China," Wu said. "The audience even doubled during the National Holiday in China (from Oct. 1 to Oct. 7)."
The giant sculpture also has sparked unofficial imitators, and the DOOH campaign also makes a point about copyright infringement and intellectual property rights for designers, Wu said.
"Fake rubber ducks have appeared in many Chinese mainland cities since the genuine Rubber Duck went on display in Beijing," he said. "Digital billboards can deliver the realistic-looking image of the genuine Rubber Duck to the audience, combine the duck with landmarks of these major Chinese cities and provide a protection against infringement of intellectual property rights. The campaign is also a practical action taken by the Beijing Design Week and Phoenix Metropolis Media, [to increase public awareness of] the intellectual property rights [of] designers."
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