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17/08/2021 - Views

From the Big Screen to the Billboard: Why Out of Home is the Answer for New Movies

With cinemas now open and a pent-up thirst for new movies to cater for, it should come as no surprise that the UK and Ireland’s box offices are booming. Cinemas took in £18.7 million last week, £10.9 million of which was taken in just over the weekend, showing that cinema-goers are back!

So, with a huge backlog of films to be released, as well as movie debuts on VOD platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, how do you stand out? With a vast amount of Out of Home campaigns for films under his belt, Grand Visual’s Creative Director, Ric Albert, knows a thing or two about nailing a movie launch. 

In recent months, Ric and his team have been behind some fantastic OOH launches, including collaborations with Warner Bros and Amazon Prime. Pre-pandemic, the team also collaborated on movie launches with the likes of Sony Pictures and Disney. So, grab a refreshment and get comfy because we’re about to dive in.

Post-Pandemic OOH Advertising for Movies

Warner Bros – Wonder Woman 1984

Set to be released in June 2020, the release of Wonder Woman 1984 was delayed due to the pandemic. This led Warner Bros to rethink its launch strategy and draw attention from cinema audiences with an epic OOH stunt. 

Choosing the largest digital OOH canvas in the world, standing at 828 meters high – the Burj Khalifa would definitely garner interest. A video of the stunt was shared widely online, receiving over 3 million views in 24 hours on Gal Gadot’s Instagram account. 

So, Ric. What do you think?  

“I don’t think there is a more exciting Digital OOH canvas to display your work than the tallest building in the world. Genuinely a bucket list job. Even for A-list Hollywood stars, it seems!   

Look out for more of these giant-scale activations in the future – studios love the idea of epic proportions advertising their latest blockbusters.”

Amazon Prime – The Tomorrow War

Originally set for theatrical release in December 2020, The Tomorrow War was postponed and instead released on Amazon Prime. Although it wasn’t released in cinemas, the movie still needed a stellar launch to entice audiences to watch it... and the OOH campaign did just that! 

Bringing the war to cities including Stockholm, Madrid and Manchester, the campaign featured an incredible augmented reality stunt that turned these locations into scenes of The Tomorrow War. The movie went on to be a success, scoring 1.23 billion minutes of watch time, the best opening for an Amazon original movie. 

“Creating an Augmented Reality campaign across 5 countries and 6 sites was no small feat,” says Ric. “...But we’ve always been pushing the capabilities of this medium and wanted something different from a one-off stunt. Movie releases are global events, so it was fitting that the activation took place across multiple markets.” 

Pre-Pandemic Advertising for Movies  

A time before the pandemic feels like a distant memory, but we couldn’t not include these epic movie launch stunts. Now that restrictions have been lifted, here’s some great examples of OOH advertising for movies that’ll really draw attention.

Sony Pictures - Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse

For the launch of Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, Sony Pictures wanted to steal the stage at one of the grandest OOH sites of them all – Times Square. We created an augmented reality experience that transported over 215,000 people passersby into the Spider-verse. The campaign went on to win 2 OBIE awards as well as the movie winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. 

Over to you Ric.  

“This has to be one of my favourites: prime location – tick, mass audience participation – tick, turning crowds into cartoons – tick, using facial tracking to add speech bubbles above their heads – tick. This activation had it all, and the result aligned perfectly with the film to create a unique and memorable stunt.”

Disney Marvel Studios: Doctor Strange

As a master of the mystic arts, Doctor Strange deserved more than just a static 6-sheet. Using augmented reality, we created an OOH installation across 10 markets that gave audiences the chance to harness the mystical powers of the doctor. The film went on to open in the #1 position in the US box office, eventually grossing $677 million worldwide. 

“This was the perfect marriage of creative and technology – when the stars align to create something truly special... and incredibly fitting for the movie,” adds Ric. “With some gesture recognition and live video portals, we connected people in London and LA and gave everyone the chance to become Sorcerer Supreme.” 

“At the end of the day, that is what all of these activations are about. Bringing some of the movie magic into the real world. Giving the public the chance to interact with their favourite characters and creating an emotional engagement with the next big movie release.”