My work on the ‘Stranger Things’ London Underground Takeover

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During a stint at a media agency, I was able to be involved in the marketing of the second season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, which was arguably the most anticipated show that year. My job was to help run brainstorm sessions across our agency and provide A3 illustrations of the chosen ideas, to pitch to Netflix later. Here, I’ll take you ‘behind-the-scenes’, through the process of picking the chosen idea that they ran with.

BRIEF

To create unique and culturally relevant media moments around the return of TV show “Stranger Things” on Netflix, with all episodes dropping Halloween 2017. Their aim was to cement “Stranger Things” as a flagship Netflix Original title. This would be achieved by encouraging existing fans to return as well as reach the rest of their target audience to make them feel this is the TV event of the year.


STRATEGY

1. Bringing the world of Stranger Things to life by creating ‘the upside down’ in a London Underground tube station. Messaging will focus on ‘Find Barb’ which will appeal to super-fans and create intrigue for those who have never seen the show. As Stranger Things is a story about kids going missing, the campaign will also be providing support for missing persons organisations.

2. Running an OOH campaign across Bus Stops and other Public Transport locations using Augmented reality. The background of the advert will turn into the Upside Down. Clips of people interacting with the advert, using content from cameras on these sites, can then be disseminated on Social and VOD channels such as YouTube.

3. Stranger Things is about the 80’s and mystery. On the 30th October 2017 Netflix will be celebrating all things 80s, giving a handful of fans the chance to watch Season 2 a day early in true 80s style. There will be copies of Season 2 hidden across the country on VHS with clues only being given across analogue channels, including phone boxes and posters. They will also partner with Global Radio to take radio back to the 80s and for every listener that tunes in to be transported back in time. This will culminate in a number of national launch cycle cinema screenings, encouraging the public to grab their bikes in true Stranger Things style and head to a screening.

EXECUTION

Working from idea 1, the London Underground station Oxford Circus was revamped into the ‘Upside Down’ with OOH placements. A series of digital billboards and spooky wallpaper on both walls and signs were installed to immerse passer-bys into the alternative dimension of small town America in one of London’s busiest stations.
This tied in nicely with Topshop’s own marketing campaign where their flagship store outside the stations had been transformed into the Stranger Things World. Customers could enter the “Upside Down”, Hawkin’s Lab, the Arcade, and Will’s Castle Byers Den whilst also attending an exclusive screening of the first episodes.

Featured in The Drum & NME.

Chris

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