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Sky Entertainment Dials Up the Creepy for The Midwich Cuckoos Campaign

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Latest Sky Original campaign sees in-house marketing team double down on the disruptions

Sky Entertainment Dials Up the Creepy for The Midwich Cuckoos Campaign

Sky’s in-house entertainment marketing team has turned the creepy dial to ‘11’ for the campaign to launch the latest Sky Original, The Midwich Cuckoos.  In line with the sentiment of the show, the distinctly disturbing campaign features innovative ‘hijack’ executions across OOH, cinema, TV, audio and social with a particular focus on disruption and experiential.  The OOH campaign, which was developed in collaboration with Rapport and Ocean, includes a unique immersive activation at London’s Westfield White City retail complex that sees seven life-like children, or cuckoos, escaping from the poster to create havoc in the real world.  To replicate the chaos caused by the children in the show, the activation features an upturned milk float, a scene that represents an accident caused by the cuckoos mysterious and powerful hive mind abilities.  The milk float will be accompanied by life-sized ‘cuckoo’ mannequins placed strategically around the site and a creepy musical soundtrack to accompany the activation throughout.  More information on The Midwich Cuckoos, including viewing options, can be found on the official Sky website.

For the Cinema activations, the Ents Marketing team worked with DCM to disrupt a series of cinema adverts with disturbing The Midwich Cuckoos teasers, creating ads within ads for cinema audiences. The OOH campaign was further reinforced by an equally unsettling bus lenticular campaign that gradually reveals ‘the cuckoos’ surrounding the show’s lead protagonist Dr Susannah Zellaby, played by Keeley Hawes.  As well as the OOH special build, the campaign also features disruptive 3D audio ads across Spotify, ‘hijacked’ promo airtime ads across Sky and DOOH ads that disrupt Sky Mobile advertising, the first time that Sky has disrupted own brand advertising. The campaign has been a triumph of collaboration across Entertainment Marketing, Sky Creative Agency, Sky’s in-house agency and the largest in-house agency in Europe, Mediacom and other external agency partners.

Midwich, a small English commuter town, is liberal and aspirational, populated by nuclear families and affluent streets. A place where nothing much happens – that is until the twilight hours of a summer’s day when a sleepy corner of Midwich is plunged into panic. People pass out on their feet without warning, without reason. Anyone who tries to enter meets the same fate. And nobody can understand why. When the mysterious blackout is lifted, life for those affected returns to apparent normality - except every woman of child-bearing age inside the zone has suddenly and inexplicably fallen pregnant.

Local officer DCI Paul Haynes is tasked with maintaining order but unbeknownst to them all, a terrifying force is building in the comfortable streets of Midwich. These children – potential parasites - flourish under the very love and care that their families give them. Who are these children? And what do they want?

The Midwich Cuckoos is an unnerving fable for our turbulent times, a thrilling, strange and at times horrifying journey into parenthood, which lays bare any parent’s worst fear: that the thing most precious to us – a child – might desire our destruction.

Sky‘s head of entertainment marketing, Lucy Johnstone commented: “this has been such an exciting campaign to work on for the Entertainment Marketing team. It was a fantastic opportunity to work collaboratively with our partners to create a standout campaign that faithfully reflects the disruptive nature of the cuckoos in the show. It was a lot of fun throughout and I’m proud of the brilliant team effort that went into the campaign.”

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Brand: Sky Entertainment

Project Name: Sky Entertainment – The Midwich Cuckoos

Managing Director: Carli Kerr

Head of Entertainment Marketing: Lucy Johnstone

Marketing Lead: Sam Rhodes

Marketing Manager: Louise Kelly

Marketing Manager: Najmah Anshory


Creative Agency: Sky Creative Agency

Campaign Creative Director: Alastair Austin

Creative Director: Gregg Clark

Creatives: Charlotte Porter-Landua, John Grainge

Retoucher: Lee Binding

Designer: Charles Bignell

Producers: Kathy Howes, Jane Hunt, Sam Turnell

Copywriters: Luke Butler


Head of Business: Sara Burton

Account Director: Joss Finnan


Planning Lead: Hayley Boath

OOH Innovation Creative Solutions: Impact, Rapport

Categories: TV and Radio, Media and Entertainment

Sky Creative, Wed, 08 Jun 2022 16:28:25 GMT