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Agency Makes Real-Time “Campaign” Out Of Nesting Falcons

A pair of peregrine falcons in a family way is nesting on the ad agency’s roof, and like proud parents, the employees are spreading the joyful news through a #CEFalcons campaign with a Tumblr at its core.

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Update! One of the babies was born on the morning of May 14 at approximately 5:54 a.m. Congratulations to the falcons as well as their extended family at Campbell Ewald.

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When the folks at Campbell Ewald discovered a pair of peregrine falcons tending to a trio of eggs in a nest on the roof of their Warren, Michigan, office building, they couldn’t keep the exciting news to themselves and decided to share it with the rest of the world.

Time was of the essence though.

“These things could hatch at any time,” says Iain Lanivich, the advertising agency’s group digital creative director, noting that a representative from Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) predicted that the little ones could burst out of their shells as soon as mid-May.

So in just a few days, the agency created and launched #CEFALCONS earlier this month.

“One roof. Two falcons. Three eggs.” That’s the tagline of the campaign made up of a Livestream feed of the birds, a meme generator, and a guessyourbaby birth date pool, all of which can be found on a Tumblr site dedicated to the falcon family.


“We worked like a SWAT team,” Lanivich says, noting that he was inspired to swing into action because of the instant feedback viral campaigns generate. “There is something that is really addicting when you watch a campaign you launch, and you see that there is a new write-up on it or somebody has tweeted about it. You’re watching the buzz in real time.”

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Aside from the minimal costs of buying a subscription to Livestream as well as a URL, the campaign was free to produce. “Often, as advertisers, we take for granted what’s available. We’re used to paying for everything,” Lanivich says, “and sometimes you just need to look at what’s out there and utilize it.”

As for how long the public will be able to follow the falcons, Lanivich believes the campaign will continue throughout the summer. “We are all waiting for this hatch, but the real obsession is going to occur when people start watching the babies. According to the DNR, they’re probably going to fly off the building around August,” Lanivich says, “and I would think we will probably stick with this at least through them flying off the building.”

The mother and father falcon are known to the DNR–in fact, the agency has banded the birds for tracking. Do the falcons have names? “They probably already have names. We’re waiting on the DNR to come out to actually validate who they are,” Lanivich says, adding, “We’ve been notified that we will be able to name the babies.”

About the author

Christine Champagne is a New York City-based journalist best known for covering creativity in television and film, interviewing the talent in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes. She has written for outlets including Emmy, Variety, VanityFair.com, Redbook, Time Out New York and TVSquad.com

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