Responses by Greg McAlinden, creative director, Space
Background: The King’s Cross OOH activation in London forms part of Hendrick’s wider summer campaign “Escape the conventional and embrace the delectable,” which encourages customers to break up the daily grind and go beyond the obvious. It sought to build brand awareness and reinstate Hendrick’s Gin as a premium gin brand that helps customers leave the conventional behind. Demonstrating the product’s point of difference, both in terms of flavor and personality, was key to the success of the project. We did this via a multi-sensory experience that immersed people in the peculiar world of Hendrick’s on their daily commute.
Reasoning: We had an awareness job to do in the run up to our ongoing Portals to the Peculiar campaign, a series of multi-sensory events reflect the brand’s personality and new line of Orbium gin. Our job was to transport people from the mundane to the peculiar, in a way that genuinely enhanced the morning commute. We didn’t want to create an ad as such, but rather a beautiful immersion into the Hendrick’s brand world. Plus, it was a media first; we wanted to cut through in a busy space and do something distinctive and massively shareable.
Challenges: The sheer scale of the activation. The site was a 70-metre-long (about 230-feet-long) tunnel, so we needed to maximize the space, while making the biggest impact possible. In the end, we treated the whole corridor—including the floor, a first for King’s Cross—as one continuous space, fully immersing the consumer.
Favorite details: As mentioned previously, this was a media first. The floor and tunnel had never been completely wrapped before, so we’re really proud of the end result and our ability to tackle new and challenging problems. Consumer engagement was also really high, especially on social media. There was even one person who said they’d changed their route to work just to head through the tunnel!
Visual influences: Naturally, Hendrick’s was our biggest influence. It’s everything that a morning commute isn’t: peculiar, whimsical and beautifully crafted. It’s a really fun world to be immersed in—and that’s the message that we wanted to pass on to commuters. We wanted the brand to be remembered.
Anything new: How joining up design with a great creative idea in a clever media space can turn an ad into a destination. The campaign was a fantastic team effort and became something people went out of their way to see which is rare, especially on Transport for London. It was also interesting to see how print, used in the right way, can be as immersive and engaging as anything else. You don’t always need tech to engage an audience. A simple idea executed well can resonate with people in the most meaningful of ways.