Octopus Ahoy!

Over 10,000 app downloads in just 10 weeks!

What is Octopus Ahoy!

How lovely of you to ask M’Hearty! Well, Octopus Ahoy! was the hugely successful, large-scale public art trail that took place in the summer of 2021, in partnership with Tendring District Council, created and delivered by KAT, to celebrate the Mayflower 400™? and 150 Years of Clacton. KAT was entrusted with putting together an event which captured the public’s imagination and got people out exploring Harwich, Tendring and the wider Essex area in a safe way in light of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

What was involved?

Bringing together a large-scale public event is a huge undertaking. The KAT team began by sourcing the nearly a hundred large (4ft x 4ft) and small sculptures (2ft x 2ft), artists and schools to design the artwork, business to sponsor and generate rewards to be retrieved. There was a mountain of logistical challenges for the team to overcome, not least the placing of more than 90 sculptures, out on the streets in the right place and safely, all under the cover of darkness.

While the physical side of the trail was requiring all hands on deck, KAT’s digital team got to work making sure all the collateral was in place to tell everyone about it. The Octopus Ahoy! brand was born and an app developed to allow users to track down and find the octopuses, all while earning incredible rewards for their efforts. KAT then crafted social advertising campaigns to drive awareness in the lead up to the sculptures hitting the streets and downloads of the app to boost uptake.

Octopus Ahoy! in Action

How did it go?

Well swimmingly, thank you for asking! The Octopus Ahoy! app was downloaded thousands of times, tens of thousands of rewards were redeemed, over 22 million steps were taken on the app, and the sculptures were found more than 56,000 times between June and September. Better still, tens of thousands of pounds were raised for local Tendring causes from the auction of the thirty large octopuses, and a handful of smaller ones, leaving a legacy from the public art trail for generations to come.

The Results
10,000+ Downloads
103,000+ Scans
22,776,678 Steps
The Comments

Outstanding event held by an outstanding company – KAT Marketing – so glad I could purchase an octopus and well done for running such a fantastic campaign – the trail brought smiles to communities across Tendring – well done

Craig Newnes, McDonald’s Tendring & Colchester

The Octopus Ahoy trail has been an immeasurable success, with it leaving a clear impact on the people of Clacton-on-Sea. I received numerous comments on how much fun families had, with the trail itself being the highlight of the summer holidays for one family. We’ve also had winners associated with the NHS, and the prizes have allowed a treat to be had in what has been such a difficult time for our key workers.

Jonathan Wakely Essex County Council Business Services