The National Trust and AV Browne scooped two awards at the Social Buzz Awards in London last week for the Giant’s Causeway Sleeping Giant campaign which enjoyed phenomenal viral success since its launch last November.
The Drum’s Social Buzz Awards celebrate and reward the very best in social media communications and the National Trust fought off tough competition from big industry names including Sony Pictures, Hyundai, O2 and Channel 4 to win best ‘Low Budget’ campaign and ‘Best Social Stunt’.
The Sleeping Giant campaign was created to drive visitors to the Giant’s Causeway during off-peak winter months and hinged on the belief that giants hibernate in winter. The innovative campaign featured ‘video’ of Finn McCool retreating into a cave in the Causeway. Later that day TV personality Mark Mallet broke the news of Finn’s hibernation with a ‘live news report’.
The internet went crazy with millions of people seeing the story in just a few days.
‘This campaign was huge fun to work on with our creative agency AV Browne,’ says Tony Millar, senior marketing and communications for the National Trust in Northern Ireland. ‘It really captured the spirit and imagination of the Giant’s Causeway and clearly hundreds of thousands of people loved it too. We were blown away by the engagement levels it achieved in just 24 hours and it helped us to reach many people in a new and surprising way.’
Judges for the ‘Best Social Stunt’ category described the campaign as ‘delightful, jolly and heartfelt’ adding: ‘It’s quite refreshing and unexpected from someone like the National Trust to do something so imaginative.’
In the Low Budget category the judges said the National Trust was a worthy winner because: ‘…they achieved their objectives impressively without media spend. This execution was charming, impactful and perfectly unique to their brand.’
Mike Dunne, Account Director at AV Browne said: ‘Its success is testament to the strength of the idea, but also shows what’s achievable when such a diverse team of people really get behind it. We’re so pleased that the National Trust NI team believed in the concept firstly, but also that the Giant’s Causeway property staff and the National Trust Rangers really brought it to life so well on site. This is a gigantic achievement and one we’re very proud of.’
The result came within days of the Giant’s Causeway being named the UK’s Best Heritage Attraction at the British Travel Awards.
Summarising the key to the Sleeping Giant’s success Tony said: ‘Working with the team of rangers and staff at the Causeway really brought the story to life on the ground for our visitors. As a conservation charity we need to work with limited budgets and make sure that we get the best possible value. But a strong story, a great plan and a bit of imagination can go a very long way.’