|Why Timing Clinches All Games
By: Briskman Stanfield
Question: When unexpected opportunity knocks on both sides of the marketing door, what d-o-o-o-o you do? Answer: Consider yourself one lucky duck!
In the past, the word "duck" connoted many interpretations from the government’s "lame" to Disney’s animated Donald and Sesame Street’s beloved Rubber (Duckie). But their 15 minutes are over, because there’s a new duck in town. Pittsburgh, to be exact, and not only is it the first U.S. city to accommodate this gentle 54-foot giant, but at the very same time the city is going quackers.
After a long 21-year haul the Pittsburgh Pirate’s baseball team won the wild card hometown advantage thus weaving a golden thread between two bigger-than-life events. Because as this yellow (think Pirate gold) duck floats on the shores of the Allegheny River hovering under the Sixth Street (aka Roberto Clemente) Bridge it also neighbors the Pirates' home PNC park, branding the start of a beautiful frenzy for both.
While it is true that the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust brought the duck to this country as part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts, it was not intended as collaboration with the Pirates. It arrived for purely art’s sake, courtesy of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman (first installation in 2007).
Yet no advertising wizard could have predicted that after two decades, this black and gold team would rally with a wildcard playoff at the same time that a big "gold" duck would become highly visible in their stadium’s backyard, appearing as one of their biggest fans.
Not a bad quack can be heard because it’s "all good" that the Pittsburgh Cultural Arts Festival and The Pirates baseball team magically had so much in common at the right time and right place. A campaign this strong could never have been planned or imagined for a city where unemployment runs high and spirits low. Yet this charmed remedy became a euphoric (temporary as it may be) fix with no political approval necessary, as it reminded the people of the city that hope does float.
The phenomenal energy created something advertisers must be taking notes on as it boosted an economy from ducks and Bucs merchandise sales and shot the city off the radar with social media posts, pictures, and tweets by locals and out-of-towners, including celebrities.
In sports and advertising winning can be just ducky, if time is on your side.
Briskman Stanfield is a freelance copywriter and all-around, behind-the-scenes team player.
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