Who You Gonna Call?


Whilst you might not have seen the new Ghostbusters film, if you work in London then you’ve probably already seen the slimy, ghosty takeover of Waterloo station.

As well as traditional out of home advertising on ticket barriers, giant hoardings and throughout the station, the takeover lets commuters touch, feel, see and even talk all things Ghostbusters.

We’ve seen great traditional newspaper spreads, both national and London regional, and extensive sharing on social media. Anyone and everyone has got involved.

Why has this worked so phenomenally well? Three key reasons to consider for your experiential campaigns coming up:

1. Made for Instagram – OK, made for any kind of photo and video and sharing online. It looks great from all angles. There are things above you, things to walk past and they are all so easy-peasy to photograph, even by commuters walking at a million miles an hour – most already have their phones in their hands.

2. Real engagement – on the first day of the spooky appearances at Waterloo, flyers were handed out with a phone number on for anyone is afraid of a ghost, to report their sighting. This was a takeover with care and attention to detail, and knowledge that nosey people (and fact-checking journalists) would call – the number is real, there is real live ghost information out there. You can do old fashioned things like call and talk about it.

3. Brief encounter – clients often talk to us about doing things in Waterloo station. But commuters are a really challenging bunch. Even a broken limb wouldn’t stop any of us on the quest to get somewhere, so taking up time – no matter how little – is too much to ask a commuter in an exceptionally busy station to do. But, interrupt them really, really briefly with a giant ghost crashed through the floor and green slime hanging above their heads, and they cannot help but notice. And you don’t NEED to do anything to notice the activation. Of course, the audience metrics are key here – the average commuter into Waterloo station is old enough to remember Ghostbusters the first time around and doesn’t need much in the way of detailed reminders. Everything is in eyeline and needs no explanation. Hell, even grumpy commuters have been seen to raise a smile at this brief encounter of the spooky kind.

The proof will be the box office figures for the new film. In this Netflix and streaming age, this kind of clever, engaging, immersive and fun experiential activity does make me want to see this film, in full surround-ghost-sound and technicolour. Well done Ghostbusters, we salute your supernatural temptations.