Sony Pictures Promo, Case study MAKING CONTACT WITH NON-HUMANS by Optimum Media OMD Moscow

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Industry Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Russia
Agency Optimum Media OMD Moscow
Released July 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Localisation Campaign
Product/Service: DISTRICT 9 FILM
Date of First Appearance: Jul 15 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: OPTIMUM MEDIA OMD, Moscow, RUSSIA
Entry URL:
Media Service Director: Stas Lazarev (Optimum Media OMD)
Senior Media Group Head: Maria Ukolova (Optimum Media OMD)
Media Manager: Yuri Merenkov (Optimum Media OMD)
Junior Media Manager: Tatiana Aleeva (Optimum Media OMD)
Digital Executive: Julia Tkacheva (Optimum Media Buying)
Digital Media Manager: Olga Doldo (Buena Vista Sony Pictures Releasing (Cis))
Media placement: TV – 3 Spots - First Channel, TNT, MTV, 2x2 - 03 August 2009
Media placement: OOH – 3 Formats - Moscow, St. Petersburg - 03 August 2009
Media placement: Internet – Different Banners -, ICQ,, Yandex,, Etc. - 03 August 2009
Media placement: Inf (Artificial Intelligence) -, Kinopoisk,ru, Maps - 03 August 2009
Media placement: Paranormal Map - Http:// - 03 August 2009
Media placement: Telephone Recording - Call Center - 03 August 2009
Media placement: Payment Terminals – 1 Banner - Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Krasnodar, N.Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Perm, RostovOnDon, St.P - 10 August 2009
Media placement: Radio – 1 Spot - DFM, Russkoe Radio, Hit FM, Nashe Radio , Maximum, NRJ , Record, Europa Plus - 12 August 2009

Results and Effectiveness
The inf conducted 45,800+ dialogs, each an average of 190seconds. Nearly 21,000 people called the hotline. 550,000+ people viewed the paranormal map, with 19% click-thru to footage. First weekend: 70% of target achieved: 859,557 people saw “D9”! Over double the number who saw the weekend’s #2film. Total Box Office: Over $10mln – exceeding our target by +50%! “D9” re-classified as Blockbuster (box office >$10mln) on Russian market, de facto achieving the desired positioning. “District9” was among Russia’s Top25 films of 2009 (out of 203 released), achieving 1,2% total market share, and over 2% of the blockbuster market. source:Bookers’s Bulletin

Creative Execution
We specially-created three platforms based on “making contact”: Media first for Russia: we used artificial intelligence to create an inf: a non-human answered questions live online. Type in any question, the inf replied. This resonated with sci-fi fans’ dreams of “making contact”, and challenged smart-alecks, who tried to pose questions the inf couldn’t answer. Knowing people use mobiles to make contact 24/7, we set up a telephone hotline, printed on OOH ads: “If you spot a non-human, please call immediately: 8-800-333-3-999”. Calls were answered by a recording, giving information about what to do if you’ve spotted a non-human. had a map of paranormal occurrences in Russia. We worked with to expand the map’s geography (, increasing value for their users, and integrating “D9”: together with historical events the location in S.Africa where “D9” takes place is on the map, with a link to “video footage of real sightings”.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
August – low season for movies. Sony Pictures releases “District 9”: not a blockbuster, no mega-celebrities, smaller-than-average ad budget. Our task: generate $6.6mln box office sales, which means convincing 1,200,000+ people to sacrifice several precious hours of summer and spend them inside. The risk was the perception as “some new sci-fi movie” – not enough to drive masses to the cinema. International communications strategy was clear: position as a “big event”, generate buzz first among the core audience, then among the general population. The early adopters would be sci-fi fans, therefore we looked to start a conversation with them. Besides talking to fellow “geeks”, who would they most like to talk with? A non-human! The sci-fi culture dreams of “making contact” – so we set out to create exactly that opportunity for Russians. International materials generated awareness via OOH, TV, radio; we focused on creating unique platforms for Making Contact.