IT Creeps Out Commuters With #WheresGeorgieTO
August 31, 2017
Photo by Warner Brothers Canada
We all float down here in Toronto—at least, we did yesterday morning when dozens of faceless ghosts in yellow raincoats seemingly hovered on downtown street corners.
It was an eerie sight for commuters in the Financial District, who encountered 40 statues marked with the hashtag #WheresGeorgieTO holding solitary red balloons, waving in the wind.
Local cultural agency Rooftop scattered the statues on King, Wellington and Front streets between Yonge Street and University Avenue in support of the much-anticipated Warner Brothers movie adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling novel IT, which hits theatres Sept. 8.
Dave Videka, president of Rooftop, says his firm frequently works with Warner Brothers on experiential campaigns. They felt downtown Toronto would provide the perfect audience for an IT stunt as there would be a wide variety of people from different ages and backgrounds who would likely be familiar with either the 1986 story or the 1990 TV miniseries.
“It’s an iconic movie and also has bit of a cult following,” says Videka. “We wanted to do something on a mass scale, so you had to keep bumping into it. You’d see it over and over again and couldn’t get away from it.
“We wanted to recreate one of the most iconic characters—but not Pennywise the Clown. The idea was to create a ghost-type activity to disrupt people’s commutes on their way to work, and to get them to stop and take time out from their day to share social pictures.”
Georgie Denbrough, the missing raincoat-bedecked child who kicks off the IT story, was the other natural choice for the activation. Rooftop’s creative director, Matthew Parish, recently opened his own custom fabrication company called Pennant Design Co., which the Rooftop team tapped to create each of the 40-pound statues, which are attached to custom images of Toronto manhole covers printed on steel bases.
Photo by @parebruce
Photo by @sophia_domen
With #WheresGeorgieTO, the public was encouraged to share photos on social media to be entered to win a private screening of IT. The hashtag, powered by Your Brand Integrated Marketing Communications, became the number two trending topic in Canada yesterday afternoon, with more than 645,000 impressions and more than 1,300 social posts in the campaign’s first seven hours. Media including Breakfast Television, 102.1 The Edge and 680 News also picked it up.
“We were happy to see that ‘creepy’ was the number one–used word in the social posts, because that’s what we were going for,” says Videka.
The #WheresGeorgieTO statues since have been moved off the streets to various points downtown for further photo opportunities, including the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for this weekend’s Fan Expo, Cineplex and the Shangri-La Hotel.
A behind-the-scenes making-of video is set to release on Sept. 6, ahead of the movie’s Friday release.
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