Spotted! The Greatest Showman comes to town

A musical treat for tourists in Nathan Phillips Square is just the latest experiential effort for the film.
Greatest Showman

Who doesn’t enjoy a little circus magic in their lives every now and then?

As part of its promotion for its upcoming P.T. Barnum bio-pic/musical The Greatest Showman, Twentieth Century Fox Canada gave Torontonians and tourists alike a surprise with a downtown flash mob.

Attendees at the Christmas market in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square probably already noticed the trailer of the film airing on big OOH screens in the area, as well as the free popcorn being handed out. But what they might not have been expecting was the 20-person flash mob choir that assembled to sing the film’s title song, “This is Me.”

The activation was the result of a collaboration with experiential marketing agency Jam Van.

Experiential has played a big part in the marketing of the film, said Costas Andreopoulos, VP of marketing at Twentieth Century Fox Canada. Last week, Twentieth Century Fox Canada set up shop at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre with a gift-wrapping station featuring themed wrapping paper to build excitement for the film.

Later today, the studio will also activate at Union Station with another display of holiday-friendly whimsy. A group of circus performers, including jugglers and contortionists, will perform at the Toronto commuter hub to get everyone in the circus spirit.

“It’s a very Christmas-y kind of film with a very positive message,” Andreopoulos told MiC. “Lots of people go to the movies as a family during the holidays, and we [wanted] a great way to tie into the family element.”

The experiential activations are in addition to what Andreopoulos said is a fairly standard media plan to support the film — digital, out-of-home, television and social, with all buys executed by Zenith. And while the film boasts the star-power of actors like Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya, it also happens to be debuting only five days after the premiere of the juggernaut known as The Last Jedi.

In the U.S., the cast of the film drew major media buzz this weekend when they filmed a “live trailer,” which aired during prime time. The cast donned full costume for a musical number rehearsal that was captured and broadcast live during Fox’s telecast of A Christmas Story Live.