Sony Throws a Halloween Party at the United Nations
Out to create a highly visual publicity stunt that would garner media exposure for the DVD launch of Spider-Man, Columbia-TriStar/Sony hooked up with UNICEF for a program to benefit children “around the world.”
Given the release date’s proximity to Halloween, the campaign leveraged the holiday to maximize media coverage. The United Nations complex in New York City was secured as the event’s venue, and U.N. delegates and their families were invited to an exclusive Spidey Halloween party featuring an afternoon of family fun followed by a private screening of the movie.
The day featured oodles of games and interatives, including a climbing wall replicating the Chrysler building and make-up artists who “spiderized” the kids. Spider-Man signage and stylized web structures with lights were placed throughout the event space, and a series of staging platforms backed by a 40-foot truss were placed at the end of the plaza. Next to the giant staging area was a four-foot “Be a Hero: Trick or Treat for UNICEF” donation container.
The party was interrupted by a prerecorded “Special News Report” on the video wall announcing that Spider-Man was on his way. The crowd went nuts when the scene went dark and the main stage erupted with fog and moving light beams (the first time pyrotechnics had been allowed at the U.N.). The superhero appeared, swung around, then talked up UNICEF and solicited donations before swinging up and dumping a barrel of coins (the studio’s donation) into the container. The event nailed 85 major media hits nationwide, cementing the DVD’s pending release in the publics’ minds.