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ICONS of England

Online public engagement campaign

Brighton, UK

About the project

A flagship commission from Culture Online, the DCMS body set up to use digital technologies to widen access to arts and culture, the ICONS brief was to create 'an online collection of the country's iconic objects of cultural significance'. We went beyond this initial brief to create a large-scale online public engagement campaign.

What we did

Starting from scratch, we set up an organisation to operate ICONS, created its identity and its online and offline branding, we recruited an editorial team to produce the content and a publicity team to get the message out. Then we built the site, launched it and undertook a major marketing campaign. The site was centred around a diverse collection of England's most cherished cultural treasures, and the public were encouraged to vote, nominate and comment.


The nation's imagination was fired up. In the first four days the site delivered more than two million page impressions. The launch was covered in every national newspaper and the site was voted New Media Age's Site of the Week. We engaged with hundreds of third-party organisations, we had millions of visitors. We even got attacked by the fox hunting lobby and had questions asked in Parliament. Visitor numbers exceeded the DCMS targets by over 100%. 

You can still see some of the coverage on the BBC website:

Nominate England's greatest icon

The making of Icons