There was something strange happening on the streets of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch recently, as ghosts took over Phantom Billsticker’s familiar framed sites in a campaign by PHD Media to push the rebooted Ghostbusters.
PHD Media senior media planner Kirsty Turner says it wanted to recreate a scene from which the logo, featuring a ghost, was graffitied in different transit areas. She says the graffiti look worked for the campaign because it “[didn’t] come across as too commercial and promotional”.
“We know that there is so much equity in the Ghostbusters logo,” she says “And it’s so recognisable for so many people that we wanted to use that as a trigger to let people know the new movie is coming out.”
However, PHD Media knew it would be hard to take over the streets due to Auckland Council restrictions and it challenged OOH providers to come up with a solution. Phantom delivered, getting around restrictions by offering up its sites to get the graffiti treatment.
Phantom key account manager Ben Stonyer says ghosts took over placeholder posters, including those featuring poems that Phantom put up earlier this month to celebrate the late Kiwi poet James K. Baxter’s 90th birthday. Adding to the the guerrilla effect, it also took over areas where Phantom had full access to the walls it leases with the logo being painted outside of the frames and straight onto the wall.
To do this, Stonyer says he turned the logo into a stencil to be used to paint over existing sites. He says the logo lends itself to a stencil look, so it seemed like a “no brainer” and spray-paint was used for its permanency.
As well as taking over existing posters, PHD Media put Ghostbusters posters in Phantom’s frames. Turner says to build awareness of any movie, it uses posters as they have the means to include information about release dates as well as highlighting the cast.
She adds, however, that if it’s going to stand out it needs to be more than a standard poster, hence why the logo was brought into play.
Pushing the boundaries paid off for both PHD Media and Phantom, as both received positive feedback. Turner says people have commented on how different it is, and wondered how Ghostbusters was able to take over other sites. Phantom national sales manager Stuart Palmer says people even shared the ghosts on Instagram.
While this is the first time Phantom has taken anything outside of the frame on the wall, Stonyer says Phantom has been known to turn the footpath into a work of art. He says he has chalked stencils on the footpath to promote a book launch, while last year it took to the ground for the L&P ‘Trickshot Challenge’ campaign. The images on the ground, combined with the posters and target on the wall, encouraged people to take different kind of shots from different places on the footpath.
Working on this campaign has opened up conversations about how PHD Media can use Phantom’s assets in different ways in the future to achieve more than the traditional poster. Turner says Phantom is “super easy to work with” and it was awesome to be able to come up with something a bit different.