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.”