Grand Norwich Duck Race: Theo the Thynginator and our interactive treasure hunt

Grand Norwich Duck Race: Theo the Thynginator and our interactive treasure hunt

In preparation for the Grand Norwich Duck Race 2016, the Thyngs creatives rolled up their sleeves and rattled their brains to come up with what the Thyngs duck would look like.

One of the main inspirations was The Terminator, sort of an icon for new technology. It represents a thyng – something that looks ordinary but has a lot going on underneath. Therefore, half of the duck looks like a simple rubber duck, with the other side revealing futuristic mechanics and computerised parts underneath.

Lots of hard work and preparation went in to making sure Theo looked his best for the race. Theo began with a base coat to make sure all colours went on evenly and positioning the NFC stickers to allow interactions with smartphones – making our duck a thyng!  Next was planning out which parts of Theo we wanted to reveal. The left side was an obvious choice in homage to Arnie’s classic role, with a slight imaginary twist on what the actual mechanical parts looked like.

The painting process involved many coats of paint, with a lot of detailing to give the desired effect. The 3D ripping effect used to make it seem like the duck was peeling was actually achieved using boring old tinfoil! The finishing touches included adding the Thyngs logo and embedded QR codes to emphasise interaction points on the duck which all lead to different content pages.

One of the interactions on Theo lead to the interactive duck treasure hunt. To help support our friends Break and their duck race, we organised an interactive hunt to take place on the day of the race.

The treasure hunt took the duck race enthusiasts on a trail of interactive mini ducks around the river between the two bridges which served as the start and end points for the race. There were eleven little ducks hiding by the river and surrounding area, and each one was a thyng. Duck hunters had to interact with the ducks using their smartphone. This would then reveal a clue of where to find the next duck. 

Everyone who successfully interacted with all eleven ducks was entered into a prize draw to win a big duck to take part in next year’s race. The lucky winner hasn’t been announced yet, but all in good time! Watch this space to find out who won the duck to decorate and race next year (worth £100).

We’d like to say a big thank you to Break, for allowing us to partner with them to support this year’s Grand Norwich Duck Race festivities, and everyone who came along and took part in the interactive duck treasure hunt! We had a great day, and we hope you did too!

A few snaps of Theo and the treasure hunt…