Published: 26th Nov 2022

Picture the scene: a young couple relax on a seaside promenade, sun rays turning their skin to a golden crisp. They take in the azure sea and pebbled beach interspersed with sand, dipping into their freshly bought portion of fish and chips. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

But disaster strikes! The couple hadn’t bargained for a raucous mob of gulls, which has swooped above them undetected, seemingly drawn to the hot takeaway food like wasps to a jam sandwich. How dare they!

Marauding sea birds on the hunt for illicit food is nothing new, as they’re observed by millions of hapless Brits every summer. In fact, research suggests just over half of the great British public has fallen foul of these pesky birds – not so much UFOs as UFTs (Unruly Feathered Thieves). Something has to be done!

Step forward a unique collaboration between Deliveroo and Models Direct in a bid to deter gulls and their flying partners in crime from pinching our food. The online food delivery giant asked us to provide the models for their “Chipwatch” campaign, which comprises a mobile seagull deterrent crew to stop seabirds from taking away our favourite takeaways. The Chipwatch Crew are armed with reflective umbrellas, decoy hawks and…wait for it… a musical track called “Bye Gull Bye” to distract the gulls from looting. The track is a cheeky little keyboard-heavy trance number with gulls squawking in the background. By all accounts, the track does its job to a tee by keeping gulls at bay. Well done, Chipwatch Crew!

Of course, Deliveroo were quick to release their quirky yet practical chip-protection concept in the form of national news articles. You can see the article that appeared in the Mirror

The campaign kicked off with the Chipwatch Crew attending beaches at Brighton and Scarborough in July to form “Chipwatch Zones”, in which beachgoers could consume their food in safety.

The campaign needed models posing on the beaches eating fish and chips, so Deliveroo were in no doubt who to ask for their modelling requirements – us, obviously! As a famous brand, Deliveroo are definitely not gull-i -ble!

Plenty of research went into the chip-saving campaign. Deliveroo approached the University of Exeter, where Dr Madeleine Goumas advised on the best measures to deter the ravenous gulls. She said, “This is a great initiative to help the public enjoy their summer holidays without the threat of unwanted birds, all whilst not being harmful to them.” When asked about “Bye Gull Bye”, Dr. Goumas said, “This is the sound gulls make when they spot a predator, and it tells other gulls to keep away. We hope this track will allow people to eat their food in peace.”

Check out footage on Deliveroo’s Instagram and see how well our models putting up with the seagulls!

It’s proof that you don’t have to have a chip on your shoulder eating al fresco – you can keep them in your newspaper!

Well done to our models, and we look forward to arranging more modelling assignments with more equally well-known brands!

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