The Campaign

From Times Square to a Top Campaign of the Year

AKA NYC is an award-winning, fully integrated entertainment advertising agency specialising in live experiences. While the agency had some brand awareness in Broadway trades, its work behind the scenes often means it isn’t recognised by advertising press for some of its most creative and innovative campaigns.

One such example was AKA’s work on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which celebrated its global expansion in 2019 with the launch of a worldwide campaign. This kicked off with an epic experiential event in the heart of New York City, featuring an unprecedented takeover of 51 separate screens in Times Square. AKA NYC designed and produced the event end-to-end in partnership with the show’s producers.

The activation received more than 100 press mentions in the weeks following the event – none of which mentioned AKA NYC as the agency that produced it. We took this as an opportunity to get AKA NYC the recognition it deserved.


Breakout coverage

Broke AKA NYC out of the Broadway bubble with placement in a top-tier advertising trade, establishing the agency as a leader in experiential marketing.

Get talking

Contributed to a significant increase in share of voice against competitors, from 20% in September to 57% in October.

Making an impression

Generated 28.2 million impressions, raising awareness of AKA NYC and its work among industry peers.

Far and wide

Received over 1,500 engagements on social media, making it the most engaged piece of coverage AKA NYC received in all of 2019 – performing 255% better than the next.

Our key objectives for this campaign were to:

This started with some work to win over the play’s producers. In the weeks after the event, we worked closely with AKA NYC to help make the case to producers as to why granting us the opportunity to pitch – especially to advertising trade media – would be mutually beneficial.

They finally agreed – with a limited window to pitch, using only publicly available information, and to a select few targets they approved.

Given the restrictions around pitching and positioning, we developed a highly focused strategy that targeted only the top advertising trade press. This was a key audience AKA NYC was keen to get in front of.

We were also keenly aware that the timeliness window was closing, given that the event took place a month earlier and had already received an abundance of press coverage. So, the team developed a story angle that had yet to be told – a behind-the-scenes look at how AKA NYC pulled off this Times Square takeover on a scale never seen before.

Upon receiving the green light, we had mere days to secure media interest, which they received in the form of a feature article from Adweek’s Creative and Innovation Editor, David Griner. The publication highlighted the article as its ‘Ad of the Day’ and was included in that Friday’s First Things First round-up and newsletter. The campaign was also selected by Adweek in December as one of its top 15 stunts and innovations of 2019, coming in at number six.

I was really impressed by how quickly the lorry team sprang into action and got instant results once we got the green light from our client to pitch this campaign. Being recognised as one of the most innovative campaigns of 2019 was one of our biggest highlights of the year for the agency.

Natalie Byrne - Group Director of Communications AKA NYC

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