Here’s a tale of how listening and conversation led to a big idea.

A Star Metro Media account manager was chatting with her friend at Disney. We were sharing ideas for an upcoming movie release: Roald Dahl’s book, The Big Friendly Giant, was being brought to life in film. Both colleagues wanted to make a big deal about it on opening weekend.

I had excellent relationships with Disney and their agency, Carat Canada. I knew they liked to think big — even with smaller budgets — and loved bouncing ideas off them. Together, we had a history of creating high-impact cover wraps for bigger films, and we planned to run one in Metro newspapers in Toronto and Vancouver, featuring gorgeous poster art from the film.

This creative execution secured all available print budget, therefore it was imperative that it make a big impression. I recommended that Carat Canada consider a dedicated street team who could talk about the film — and another idea was thrown out: “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could also have a GIANT newspaper box out on the street?”

Big Friendly Giants on stilts helped promote Star Media newspapers and the Disney film.
Big Friendly Giants on stilts helped promote Star Media newspapers and the Disney film.

The agency was excited by the idea, as they knew Disney had arranged for some stilt-walkers for locations in Toronto. Suddenly, the friendly brainstorming session had turned into one BIG idea. Carat Canada dedicated additional budget to create an integrated campaign that would merge planned activation with planned print and stand out in the big city crowds.

On Thursday, June 30, “giants” on stilts stood tall around 6-feet-tall Metro newspaper boxes at three of the city’s busiest locations: Union Station, Dundas Square, and the Yonge-Bloor intersection. Each giant had a pair of street-level hawkers to share the movie message and distribute copies of the newspaper.

The film had a great opening weekend. I was able to secure incremental revenue with budget that would not have otherwise been allocated to print — and all parties continue their great big friendship.

The moral of this story is that relationships matter. Listening to your clients and leveraging that information to present relevant opportunities is a great way to help you capture (more) big wins.