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WREDA fuses street art with digital interaction for Wellington Advent Calendar

To produce the calendar, Gina Kiel, Xoë Hall, Dside, Sean Duffell and Mica Still were tasked with producing a design inspired by a distinctive part of downtown Wellington and then painting it on that location.

The paintings were then digitised to make up the online Advent Calendar at www.advent.wellingtonnz.com.

Visitors to the site will find the paintings have been given a door, with a number on the front representing each day. Behind the door is a deal from one of 24 retail and hospitality businesses. They are redeemable until the end of January 2018.

WREDA general manager David Perks said after eight years of doing the Advent Calendar, it’s been a fun challenge to keep it fresh.

“The Wellington Advent Calendar has gone from strength to strength since we launched it eight years ago. We challenge ourselves each year to work with retail and hospitality businesses to come up with offers that we know Wellingtonians will love.”

Last year’s calendar saw WREDA countdown to Christmas with a series of 360-degree views of the city. Using Touchcast, it allowed visitors of the dedicated website to immerse themselves in different spots around the city with each one containing a local deal.

Over the 24 days it ran, more than 94,000 vouchers were claimed.

Perks hopes this year’s use of street art—a feature he says makes the city “the coolest little capital”—tops last year’s effort.

DNA’s engagement director, Josh Burt, adds that although the calendar is an institution, each year another level needs to be attained and this year is the melding of physical and digital experiences.

“For DNA, the challenge was to ensure we retained the grittiness of the ‘street’ and maximised the diversity and vibrancy of each artwork while still maximising the engagement within the digital platform.”

He says the marrying of environmental spaces with digital interaction has resulted in a “permanent record” being left around the inner city, with the “instant gratification” of Advent.

“It has been a creative challenge our team have relished.”

And for the artists, Kiel says it’s been an enjoyable project to work on as street art naturally has a direct relationship with the urban landscape it appears in.

“Interpreting areas of Wellington with paintings is a nice way for us street artists to give back to the city and acknowledge some of the spaces that make it so great, especially at a time of year when Wellingtonians can take a break and enjoy them the most.”

Since 2010, the Wellington Advent Calendar promotions have involved:

  • 1.4 million website visits
  • 192 different special offers
  • 104 Wellington businesses
  • Nearly half a million vouchers
  • 12 Wellington artists.
This story first appeared at StopPress.
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