"Coming soon to a window near you."
To build excitement as Cineplex prepares to reopen many of its 165 theaters in Canada after shuttering them for three months amid the coronavirus pandemic, agency Zulu Alpha Kilo projected How to Train Your Dragon across a 40-foot YMCA wall in downtown Toronto.
Residents of a nearby condominium tower on Bay Street could watch the 2010 DreamWorks fantasy flick from units on the building's east side. In fact, they could hardly miss the outsized images, as you'll see in this video:
The screening took place June 14 via a single projector mounted on an industrial scissor lift, with audio shared through FM radio, and theater popcorn delivered to viewers by SkipTheDishes. Jay Baruchel, who voices Hiccup in the movie, recorded a special introduction for the event, which also raised funds to benefit Food Banks Canada.
ZAK associate creative directors Dan Cummings and Vic Bath suggested the stunt after observing how balconies became hubs of community hope at the height of global lockdowns.
"From opera singers in Italy to those cheering for healthcare workers everywhere, balconies have brought many people together during this pandemic," notes agency founder and creative chief Zak Mroueh, who believes the shared experience of watching movies in cinemas provides a similar social boost.
"We presented the concept to our partners at Cineplex and they approved it on the spot," Mroueh recalls. "The hardest part was finding the perfect location to bring the idea to life."
Once the YMCA wall was chosen, event promotion took place exclusively inside the nearby condo building and included these posters:
"Streaming movies at home has been a popular pandemic pastime," Mroueh says. "But it was important to remind the world of the joy of watching movies together as a community, something you can truly only experience through the in-theater experience."
The stunt recalls AKQA and Coala's recent outdoor music-video projection in Brazil, while the ZAK-Cineplex team last took a big-picture approach in 2016 with this 20-foot-tall popcorn bag.
Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo
Creative Director: Zak Mroueh
Associate Creative Director/Art Director: Dan Cummings
Associate Creative Director/Copywriter: Vic Bath
Agency Producer: Houng Ngui
Account Team: Mike Sutton, Matt Sinuita, Jenn Gaidola-Sobral
Planning Team: Heather Segal
Clients: Dan McGrath, Sara Moore, Lauren Aitchison, Cathryn Levine
Production Company: Zulubot
Directors: Vic Bath, Dan Cummings
Executive Producer: Tom Evans
Producer: Colleen Allen
Director of Photography: Adam Griffiths
Camera Operator: Kyle Chappell
Camera Assistant: Chris Greef
Production Assistant: Shannon McCormack
Editing Company: Zulubot
Editor: Max Lawlor
Online: Alex Boothby
Transfer: Felipe Chaparro
Sound design: Noah Mroueh