CHAPPiE is a movie released by Sony Pictures, centred on Chappie, a police droid who is stolen and given new programming. Effectively born again with artificial intelligence, Chappie was raised from a ‘baby’ to think and feel for himself in the impressionable underbelly of Johannesburg. What impact would nature and nurture have on his upbringing, and could his creator rescue him from becoming the very problem he was initially created to police?
We were given two marketing goals – demonstrate a point of differentiation between CHAPPiE and the cornucopia of other robot movie releases, and to ground the story of CHAPPiE in a way that our young male audience can connect with.
The motifs of CHAPPiE concentrated on the idea of self-expression. What do we learn from our surroundings (both personal and physical) and what impact does that have on who we are and who we become. When developing as human beings, how do we outwardly express ourselves as the existential sum of our learned parts? We took the idea of self-expression and looked at how our young male target audience express themselves in the real world. Our chosen method had to align with the themes of CHAPPiE but needed to remain grounded in a way that delivered against one of the key goals. By talking to our target audience and looking closely at the themes of the movie, it became clear that graffiti and street-art were the most interlinked expressive forms of creative output we could use in our marketing and media.
Europe’s largest piece of shareable graffiti art
Our solution was to build Europe’s largest shareable piece of graffiti art – a 60 feet by 10 feet piece of art created by professional artists using the themes within the movie itself. The artwork was made up of 600 individual canvasses that, when completed, could be dismantled and shared with others – mirroring the theme that we are all just a sum of our learned parts; a canvas on which the world paints itself. However, the artwork itself would only become relevant with the involvement of some key social influencers to let everyone know about it.
An experiential event such as ours existed within a small space for a relatively short time, therefore for it to be relevant we needed a lot of people to know about it quickly. We ran a live-stream of the creation, and eventual destruction, of our artwork via Twitch, played out to core gaming fans who were able to prove had a higher propensity to watch sci-fi movies than the average cinema-goer. We invited 14 of YouTube’s most creative influencers from around Europe to help produce the artwork, whilst recording and posting about their time with us to fans throughout their social channels. At the end of the evening, the giant piece of graffiti art was taken apart and shared amongst the YouTube influencers who gave the pieces away to their fans.
“I can’t believe how this has progressed, from an idea to the event and the huge reach it has had. I couldn’t be prouder of the program and the team. We risked a lot to get this off the ground and it paid off in a big way. I want to thank everyone involved for all of your hard work, dedication, creativity and most of all spirit of true partnership to make this happen. The Chappie event has set the standard for what all of the markets worldwide want to be a part of going forward.” – Aaron Wahle – SVP International Digital Marketing
The first-of-its-kind campaign delivered more live-streams of the artwork being produced than the live-stream of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 premiere. We were able to capture our target audience’s imagination in a way that helped double the film’s unaided awareness levels versus the genre average for that time period and as importantly demonstrated, to Sony Pictures, OMD’s credentials in being a true marketing-performance partner.