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. 

Elf Yourself Invasion

Agency: Grand Central Marketing, Inc.
Client: OfficeMax

Elf Yourself Invasion

OfficeMax sought to establish itself as a holiday shopping destination and expand its holiday sales. In addition, the office supply and digital retailer, etailer and cataloger wanted to eliminate confusion it suffered against a similar chief competitor. The brand chose humor to emphasize its strengths in a fun way.

Grand Central Marketing promoted the website, then was charged with building traffic and buzz for the site in three weeks, all within a $200,000 budget. They used an “invasion” of dancing elves to help spread the word and generate buzz.

On the day of the invasion, hundreds of New Yorkers were entertained as dancing elves streamed into Union Square park from subway stations, nearby buildings and vehicles. The performance began with a small group of breakdancing elves rolling out a checkered linoleum floor, while re-mixed holiday music blared through the park. More elves joined in, transitioning from breakdance to hip-hop, rock, waltz, disco, country and pop. At the end of the routine, the elves dispersed, but not before distributing elf hats with hang tags. 

Elf Yourself

Cameramen disguised as elves hung from cherry pickers and on top of nearby buildings to capture footage from every angle. An additional day of filming provided back story footage of elf arrivals throughout New York City as they did normal, everyday activities like getting a shoeshine or shopping on 5th Avenue.
The film footage, which was used in three viral videos of the invasion, breakdance battle and main dance routine, generated more than 500,000 views. Consumers who experienced the event also posted their own videos online through social media sites. More than 150 million media impressions were generated; website visits increased 500%, with unique visitors up 600%. Overall, received more than 18 million unique visitors. 

Tostitos Salute the Troops Bowl

Agency: The Marketing Arm
Client: Frito-Lay

Tostitos reports that the tortilla chip category has become commoditized in recent years. The brand wanted to move consumers beyond price and toward their value message. Frito-Lay also values the American troops serving overseas in Iraq and wanted to do something for the men and women to whom we owe so much. Using their current sponsorship of college football, Tostitos brought the first “Tostitos Salute the Troops Bowl” to the troops at Camp Victory in Iraq.

Partnering with the USO, Tostitos and former college football stars Brian Bosworth and Joe Washington, among others, and coaches, including Tommy Bowden and Barry Switzer, flew into Kuwait for autographs and meet-and-greets. They then boarded a cargo plane to a secret location. In addition, Tostitos brought a pep rally, a tailgate party, a band and cheerleaders from the University of Colorado. It was as close to a college bowl game experience as they could get in a war zone. The team even had to hit the deck when incoming mortars were fired at their location.

With the Tostitos logo painted on a field of dirt, the entire group played a flag football game generating laughter, camaraderie and joy. A two-minute video of the game was broadcast during halftime and a $200,000 check was presented to the USO. Fans in the stands were encouraged to go online to donate to the USO to continue the tradition of giving our troops a taste of home.

The game generated more than 200 million impressions of earned media, including more than 1,500 stories and more than 80 broadcast hits ($5.6 million in ad equivalency).