An Interactive Treasure Hunt Case Study: Have YOU seen Oor Wullie?

If you’ve ever been involved in marketing a charity event, you’ll be familiar with the struggles you face – lack of funding, resources and gaining media attention to name a few.

The Archie Foundation, whose goal is to raise money to help sick children all around Scotland with better hospital equipment, new family units to keep parents close when their children are ill and even specialist staff training to ensure treatment is state of the art, decided to do something unique – and it worked. It worked well.

Oor Wullie Walking Bear 400x400 v3

An Interactive Treasure Hunt

They collaborated with DC Thomson – publishers of the Oor Wullie cartoon strip, Wild in Art – public art project planners, and multiple local artists and businesses to develop a unique, community driven event – around a much loved local character and national icon, “Oor Wullie”, on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

Ever wondered what Oor Wullie might look like in a dress? Wearing a space suit? Or what he’d look like if he were glazed in silver?

Well, wonder no more – local artists from Dundee were commissioned to create their own unique take on Oor Wullie – and the 70 resulting 5ft statues were a mixture of weird, wonderful and jaw-dropping! You can check out the entire gang of Wullie’s here.

The artistic statues were dotted all around Dundee for tourists and locals to search for on an interactive “treasure hunt” for the entire summer.

The Archie Foundation came up with the idea to raise money and awareness for the charity, while also encouraging new tourists to visit the “City of Discovery”. It has been a complete success, with commerce in the city increasing, as well as attracting a great deal of media attention for the charity and local businesses.

Kevin from The Archie Foundation says: ”The Oor Wullie character is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, so DC Thomson – the original creators – kindly offered to collaborate with us in this event. It’s been seriously successful; over 100,000 people have participated in the trail!”

The idea was simple; have local artists design their own version of Oor Wullie and dot them around the city to encourage tourists and locals to explore all it has to offer in an unusual, interactive treasure hunt.

Each statue has a completely unique theme and is sponsored by a local business which raises awareness for local businesses, while reducing the direct costs of the campaign to the charity. One you might have heard of is Creative Review’s own partner, Tradeprint. They sponsored the most classical version of the statue by the original Oor Wullie graphic artist, Pete Davidson.

It goes to show collaborating with great artists and designers can make a huge impact on a charity event.



To help tourists and locals alike to search for Oor Wullie, an app was created for both iPhone and Android devices, as well as a free printed map that was available at various locations throughout the city centre.

Tradeprint sponsored the trail, and printed free treasure hunt style maps, auction catalogues and souvenir brochures for the charity, as well as helping to design and fit out the retail unit in Dundee’s Overgate Shopping Centre. For the print-obsessed among you, these included a 36pp A4 landscape catalogue, printed on 230 micron uncoated paper with a matt laminated cover, produced in 4 days.

The interactive bucket trail finished on the 27th of August – but don’t despair yet if you wanted to get up close and personal with Oor Wullie.


Want to see or own an Oor Wullie?

You have just one last chance to see the statues in person at a farewell event at Slessor Gardens in Dundee, where all 70 original statues will be shown alongside 35 mini statues that have been on display in local Dundee libraries. Ticket sales from the event will raise money directly for a new twin-operating theatre paediatric surgical suite for Tayside Children’s Hospital. But act fast if you’re keen to go – 3,600 tickets were sold in the first 24 hours. When I said it was a success – I wasn’t kidding!

If you’re a big fan of Oor Wullie (or Harry Potter, or Marilyn Munroe, as is the inspiration for some of the statues) you even have the chance to own a statue yourself.

Each statue is to be auctioned at The Dundee Rep on Tuesday the 13th of September to raise money for the charity, which helps 175,000 sick children every year. If you’re interested in bidding, but can’t be there on the day – the interactivity doesn’t stop at the apps! You can bid and watch a live stream of the auction through i-bidder.

The auction isn’t just for the rich and famous either – many organisations are using crowd funding to raise a successful bid for a statue, in hopes they can keep some of the beloved characters on display, such as Ninewells Hospital. You can organise a crowdfunded bid using JustGiving here.

For more information on the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail and all the contributing businesses and artists, visit

By Amy Jordan 

In a celeb-studded event at the Dundee Rep theatre, the 70 Wullies went under the hammer on the 13th September. The evening was an astonishing success, raising £883,000 for the Archie Foundation. And the star of the show was the Original Oor Wullie, sponsored by Tradeprint. In a nail-biting bidding battle, our Wullie sold for £50,000, making it quite possibly the most expensive garden gnome in history. 

The Archie Foundation

We ‘Make the Difference’ for local children when they are sick. We don’t provide anything the NHS should, instead we provide more advanced or extra facilities, equipment, people and training. We also provide extensive support to families of sick children. If you’d like to know more, please click here.


Tradeprint, PrintWeek UK Print Company of the Year, is a nationwide trade printer and partner to print resellers. Since 1997, Tradeprint has pioneered a new approach to printing. With the economies of scale and constantly developing new technologies, Tradeprint has made premium quality print and cutting edge print production accessible, reliable, and, most important of all, affordable for local printers, print buyers, designers and creative agencies across the UK. Tradeprint is a partner of Creative Review and the Design Week Top 100 2016.

The post An Interactive Treasure Hunt Case Study: Have YOU seen Oor Wullie? appeared first on Creative Review.