Cannes Lions

A Super Sonic ad Break

WAVEMAKER , London / PARAMOUNT / 2020

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Our brief was to present Sonic as a modern-day superhero with whom both kids and parents could connect, but in a crowded Half-Term release window, a myriad of big fighty Franchise Heroes on streaming services shouting louder than us in terms of spend & reconnaissance with kids, and against a backdrop of video games characters very rarely making a successful transition to the Big Screen, our small blue friend really had his work cut out for him.

Strategy

Watching TV together on Saturday evenings was one of the top-indexing ‘family moments’ for our target audience. This presented the perfect opportunity to deliver a fame-driving execution, to sit at the epicentre of a connected, cross-channel media plan, that would capture the hearts of the Nation and bring Sonic to the forefront of cultural conversation.

So, we decide to partner with the UK’s top commercial broadcast partner, ITV, to deliver an entire Super Sonic TV adbreak takeover.

In order to ensure cut through and extra stature for what began as a broadcast ad break takeover, we collaborated on a partnership between Paramount, ITV, PPC, Clearcast and three of our family-friendly client brands (Compare the Market, Robinsons and Alpro), & ultimately brokered a deal that saw Sonic insert himself into the very fabric of their broadcast ads in order to cheekily ‘own’ the entire commercial TV ad estate.

Execution

We chose to takeover the ads during the semi-finals of ‘The Masked Singer’, netting around 5M viewers per show, scheduled to air the weekend before Sonic the Hedgehog’s theatrical release. This would allow us to maximize our impact at scale.

During the ad-break Sonic took over –hijacking other Brands’ ads within their own broadcast space, so that viewers saw him race across the screen, take over the ads, cheekily grabbing their attention before hailing his own movie trailer – twice!

We negotiated with ITV to reduce the minutage of the full break so that Sonic was solus in the ad break, thus maximizing impact and reinforcing recall amongst viewers. This was quite a commercial coup given the high-profile nature of the Semi-Final show, and the scale against the family audience it delivered.

Finally, we ran Social Activity across Paramount’s Facebook and Instagram platforms, reaching over 12M people.

Outcome

With this campaign, on his Big Screen Debut, Sonic not only topped the UK charts on Opening weekend, accumulating nearly £5M in sales, but he smashed Paramount’s UK Box Office targets, delivering a truly super sonic success!

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