The 'fearless Girl' statue which stares down Wall Street’s famous “Charging Bull” has generated a huge amount of media attention since it was installed last month and, in addition to serving as a feminist symbolism, the sculpture has generated millions in free advertising.
Kristen Visbal’s bronze statue became an instant sensation upon its unveiling on International Women’s Day. Since then hundreds of tourists and passersby have stopped to take photos with the girl before posting them to social media.
According Bloomberg all the tweets, selfies and news reports mentioning the artwork has resulted in $7.4m in free advertising for the financial firm that commissioned it, State Street Global Advisors.
Analysis from Apex Marketing found that the statue earned the firm almost 70% of financial services media the next day and generated around $393,000 in free social media advertising, $3.1m in free TV advertising and $3.7m worth of free online and print news advertising.
Much of the media attention stemmed from controversy around the statue and calls for its removal. The sculptor behind the “Charging Bull” statue, Italian-born Arturo Di Modica, said the Fearless Girl statue had changed the meaning and context of his work which was meant to represent “freedom, world peace, strength, power and love” and call for it to be taken down.
Di Modica's criticism only served as an advertising boost for the statue of the young girl though by increasing the number of mentions on social media. Social-media mentions spiked in late March when New York City agreed to let the statue remain for a year and then again immediately following Di Modica's complaint.
Kara Burney, senior director of marketing at TrackMaven, which measures social-media mentions, cited 500,000 shares on networks including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which was more than double the average social media audience for Boston-based State Street.