A Brief History of Where’s Wally

Of all the children’s characters created in the past few decades, Where’s Wally is both one of the most enduring and the most popular. In fact, his appeal is such that people of all ages enjoy seeking him out in the crowded images where he hides.


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He goes by many names and appears in many places, often with a historic twist on the setting. And learning a little more about the Where’s Wally universe might actually help businesses that are interested in harnessing digital marketing to increase their online presence.

Intense Effort

Created by Martin Handford in the 1987, Where’s Wally has cropped up not only in illustrated books, but also TV shows, video games and many other types of media besides.

Handford watched as Wally enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence, although this was not achieved without a lot of hard work on his part, since each image in which Wally is hiding takes him eight weeks to create, according to an interview with Scholastic.

The Wally universe has expanded to include a raft of other characters, including his faithful dog Woof, his friend Wilma and his evil counterpart Odlaw. And although a feature film has been in the works for some time, a big cinematic debut for Wally is still expected in the future. If they can turn Battleships into a movie, then Where’s Wally should be a natural fit for the silver screen.

Digital Marketing Parallels

It is unclear whether Wally really wants to remain hidden or whether he is simply one of many people in a crowd, and found only by a dedicated few. But for websites that want to be found online, it can feel as if you are a man in a stripy jumper standing in a sea of identically dressed men.

The best way to avoid being hidden away in an obscure corner of the internet is to avoid dull, generic approaches to marketing and work hard to stand out when compared with competitors. And the services offered by companies such as http://ambercouch.co.uk/ who are web designers in Cardiff can be invaluable when it comes to strengthening your online presence and boosting your brand’s impact.

Optimising for the most online visibility is best achieved through a combination of modern tools, including traditional SEO for organic presence, PPC for sponsored search prominence and social media to engage with customers and clients.

The chief problem faced by Where’s Wally is that he is merely drifting through life – a bystander to some of history’s greatest events and a face in the crowd that is hard to identify at first. Meanwhile, those who manage to push their way to the front of the crowd can stand up and be counted, as long as they have the right marketing tools at their disposal and the correct strategies to deploy effectively.

Where’s Wally has enjoyed over a quarter of a century in the limelight while ironically hiding from it. Businesses should not be so coy about their willingness to be found online.