‘Hey, it’s Marshmallow Man rising out of the floor!’
The infamous Stay Puft mascot from 'Ghostbusters' pops up
July 26, 2016
The Stay Puft Marshmallow man is one of the most well-known characters in modern pop culture. He rampaged through New York City in the original “Ghostbusters,” before being turned into the world’s biggest s’more filling when the ‘Busters blasted him.
So imagine London commuters’ surprise when the Stay Puft man’s head suddenly popped up through the floor in an underground station, as though he’d come out of a 22-year hibernation.
He hadn’t really, of course. He was just there to remind people about the all-female reboot of “Ghostbusters.”
To promote the premiere of the movie in the UK, Sony Pictures and its agencies JCDecaux and Feref took over London’s busy Waterloo Station, creating a scene that immersed commuters in the “Ghostbusters” world.
They couldn’t miss the Marshmallow Man–his head was surrounded by broken pieces of concrete to make it appear as if he’d smashed up through the floor.
What was promoted
Sony Pictures’ reboot of “Ghostbusters,” which debuted in the UK on July 11.
Why this stunt
Many JCDecaux and Feref employees grew up as fans of the original “Ghostbusters” movie, which made them want to bring some of its characters to life.
“The key light-bulb moment came when we were in the beginning of talks with Sony and I thought to myself, ‘This is where we can actually make mine, and I’m sure so many other people’s, childhood dream of being an actual Ghostbuster come true,'” says Stacey Knight, director at JCDecaux Blue, tells Media Life.
“Thus, we landed at the core idea of creating an environment where the movie was a reality.”
The stunt rolled out on July 11, the day the movie was released in the UK. It ran for two weeks.
It took a long time to pull off. Knight says the idea sparked at the beginning of the year, and the two agencies worked on it for the six months since.
How it worked
Digital screens in malls and rail stations ran ads promoting the movie. And fake news stories about ghostly sightings appeared on JCDecaux’s digital OOH network.
At Waterloo, additional elements included 8-meter (26 feet) slime poles “dripping” from the ceiling and branded vinyl “drops” of slime on the floor, indicating the best position to take selfies with the stunt.
Street teams gave out “Ghostbusters” business cards featuring a number people could call to hear a recorded message from the team. Vinyl wraps made the station look like New York. And eerie sounds and music set the ghostly atmosphere.
People were encouraged to take selfies with the giant head and post them on social media using the hashtag #ghostbusterswaterloo.
Why it worked
The setup at Waterloo Station could not be missed, and it was a fun way to make commuters feel like they were in the movie.
“Our ideas were born from the passion we all feel about being a Ghostbuster, what that would encompass, and the exciting situations you would become immersed in,” says Knight.
How it was received
People loved it. Hundreds of photos of the stunt were posted on Twitter. It was also popular on YouTube. A video about the Marshmallow Man posted by On Demand News received more than 130,000 views.
That created online buzz for the campaign, which was also covered by local media and advertising trade publications.
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