Archive for February, 2015

An unmissable campaign… for a show I missed

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

For the past few weeks, I haven’t been able to make my morning commute to work without seeing something to do with Fortitude, Sky Atlantic’s most recent offering.

But with that said, the dramatic, actors-slowly-looking-up-into-the-camera digital signs, which have been assaulting me daily from three different angles on my walk into the office, were only the beginning (even though those alone actually ingrained the name of the show into my morning-fugged brain – an achievement which, in itself, is pretty impressive).

The launch campaign has been really wide-reaching, ranging from standard promo to brilliantly bizarre PR.

The print ads were were given a boost by actual Fortitude reps, hired for the sole purpose of handing out special edition copies of Metro on the morning of launch day. I couldn’t tell if the reps were dressed in huge, arctic puffer jackets because it’s freezing at the minute or because it was actually on brand, but either way – it worked.

There was the ice-themed ad break, in which Sky Atlantic broadcast only the chilliest selection of TV commercials during the first episode to create a truly icy atmosphere. There was a branded photobooth hosted at swanky London venus that gave viewers the chance to win a holiday to Lapland (if they shared their pictures with a relevant hashtag, of course).

And then, of course, there was the polar bear. The polar bear that bewildered commuters in a hilarious PR stunt on the London Underground. There’s really not much more for me to say about that. Except, I mean… a polar bear.

It's just genius. (Picture: David Parry/PA)

If I can involve animatronics in a campaign, I will consider my life’s work complete. (Picture: David Parry/PA)

So, was it a success? Yep, a staggering one. The show pulled in 700,000 viewers on its opening night – when the average for viewers in that time slot is 59,000.

The figures speak for themselves – as does the amount of press coverage. But while a polar bear ambling through the streets of London was probably ample for raising huge amounts of awareness, the full campaign created a spectacle that couldn’t be ignored.

The sheer weight of the push behind a campaign with so many creative elements screamed at the audience to pay attention; why would Sky Atlantic invest so much in marketing if it weren’t a big-budget, big-impact show? I mean, you don’t see this kind of fuss being made over Tumble, do you?

But as for whether the show’s any good, I couldn’t say. I don’t have Sky Atlantic.

Let’s hope that, after a launch campaign as good as this, it didn’t end up getting a frosty reception.