Sony: behind-the-scenes of Waterloo's immersive Ghostbusters campaign

Ghostbusters Campaign

Sony reveals how it made this highly commended campaign, for immersive/ ambient category at the 2016 Creative Out Of Home Awards. We discuss with JCDecaux, Feref, MGOMD and Talon, on how they created such an eye catching phenomenon.

Background

Ghostbusters Waterloo was undoubtedly the biggest, most shareable and spectacular launch of a blockbuster film in 2016. Not only did the campaign include a variety of global media-firsts for film advertising, but it also drew upon the true love and nostalgia that fans have for the original 1984 version.

Using the UK’s busiest station, London Waterloo (footfall of around 2 million per week), Sony, MGOMD, Talon and JCDecaux made the daily commute off the P.K.E. scale by combining physical, interactive and social elements to create a breath-taking campaign.

Strategy

Oozing, 8 metre ‘Slime Poles’ were placed around the station, and a colossal sculpture of the iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man could be seen smashing through the concourse floor. Commuters were encouraged to capture a picture and share on Twitter using #ghostbusterswaterloo. These pictures were then displayed across digital screens in Waterloo station, enhancing the shareable aspect of the campaign.

An immersion zone in the station’s busy commuter tunnel was completely transformed with New York vinyl wraps and atmospheric audio, including eerie snatches of sound from the Big Apple itself.

Thousands of visitors had the chance to buy ghostly goods at a pop-up Ghostbusters retail unit which was built to look like a New York Subway entrance. The retail unit was run by the world’s largest and best-known science fiction, fantasy and cult entertainment retailer Forbidden Planet. Visitors to Waterloo were also able to purchase limited edition Odeon tickets and souvenir tins from the Ghostbusters retail store between 11–24 July.

If this wasn’t already enough, business cards were also handed out by fully kitted out Ghostbusters team members encouraging commuters to call the headquarters on 0800 2229 911 and hear a message from the team. The number was also displayed on phone boxes across the UK.

Outcome

The campaign was uniquely immersive across the JCDecaux media network from start to finish; with ‘Ghostbusters box office open now’ messaging displayed across digital screens in malls and rail stations to drive early awareness.

National content displaying dynamic fake news items featuring ghostly sightings was also deployed across the UK on JCDecaux’s Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) network and this was amplified by experiential activity within two incredibly busy sites, Birmingham Bullring and Manchester Piccadilly, using the iconic Ghostbusters car, the ECTO-1.

If the social explosion the campaign produced wasn’t enough, it was also picked up by the press far and wide, including The Metro, The Evening Standard, TimeOut and even stretched as far as 9News Australia, ABC News and Jakarta Glove Indonesia.

And now to the figures. From 11-21 July, Ghostbusters Waterloo generated an eye-watering 52.6 million impressions. To add to this, the number of calls to the Ghostbusters hotline reached a whopping 362,882.

For more information on the Creative Out Of Home Awards visit the website here.

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