The idea alone sends chills down the spine. A mysterious force decimates the population and if you look at it, you’re gone. You’re done.
Add the star-power of Sandra Bullock’s gritty performance and the production chops of Netflix to this creepy scenario, and the film Bird Box was destined to be a mega-hit. Netflix knew they wanted a moving, location-based billboard to promote the film — to engage the audience for the film out on the street. So they turned to MC2 Experiential Studio to make the concept come alive.
The Big Idea
Executive Creative Director Richard Sears and Senior Creative Producer Melissa Beery read the script and Josh Malerman’s book. They knew instinctively that the most provocative way to engage the audience was to have them experience what the characters experienced in the film. They married an in-story immersive experience to the idea of a moving billboard. The result was a double-decker bus wrapped with Bird Box imagery and promotion … with a Bird Box experience hidden inside.
How it Worked
Inside the bus, Sears, Beery, and the MC2 team recreated the film’s “safe house” with its windows taped up with newspaper to prevent any glimpses outside. Participants lined up, permitted themselves to be blindfolded – like the characters in the film – and led onto the bus. Once inside with blindfolds off, a series of “jump scares” thrilled the participants letting them identify with the unfolding terror the film holds for star Sandra Bullock and the Bird Box cast.
When the experience ended and the tension broke, participants took selfies and were given their own “bird box” to take home. The two-minute experience was enough for some participants to acknowledge it “scared the crap out of us,” giving MC2 Experiential Studio’s Bird Box Experience a “ten out of ten.”
The Bird Box bus toured six locations in Los Angeles, California and went on to Austin, Texas garnering thousands of visitors in a little over 30 days. Along with that, the social media buzz created by the bus helped spread the word about the film. Happily, Netflix also reported 45 million views in the first week alone!