Friday, August 20, 2010

The Up, Up ... and Away Tour

Agency: GES
Client: Disney/Pixar

Disney/Pixar charged GES with designing, producing and delivering a one-of-a-kind press tour for Up’s summer release at a time when competition was heavy – 10 major films were released within a few weeks’ time.
Up is the story of 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen, who spends his whole life dreaming of a great adventure and finally realizes his vision when he ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies far, far away to a world filled with outrageous, colorful characters.

Inspired by the film, the agency created a five-week, 20-city “Up, Up … and Away” tour, including helium cluster-balloon stunts in 20 of the top media markets. The campaign allowed local newscasters and celebrities to sit in an exact replica of Carl Fredricksen’s chair and ascend from 50 to 150 feet on local and national television and radio.
Above the balloon chair were 72 red, blue, yellow, green and white balloons – some the size of a small car – suspended above a red Lazy-Boy armchair. Once buckled into the chair, media personalities were released into the air using four tether lines to keep the chair stable and in place. A motorized steel cable slowly unraveled, allowing the guests to monologue remotely from up high.

Prior to the stunt, news stations teased audiences with videos, asking members of the crowd how many helium balloons it would take to lift a 150 pound man. A Disney spokesperson introduced the media host to Carl’s chair, and encouraged them to “sit down and strap in!”

In addition, over the course of four days, Disney brand ambassadors distributed 900,000 limited-edition “Up” cards to theater guests when exiting “Monsters vs. Aliens” and “Night at the Museum”. These cards drove traffic to the film’s website where consumers could view trailers, meet the characters and learn more about opening weekend.
The tour was covered by major networks and publications such as Live with Regis & Kelly, Entertainment Tonight, The Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times and TheWashington Post, among others.

After six weeks, the press tour generated more than 63.1 million impressions, and Up opened to $68.2 million in box office revenue, equaling the third-highest Disney/Pixar opening in history.