Ontario Science Centre brings Hogwarts in-house

The science centre has launched an advertising campaign behind the exhibition, coming in 2010, that will see sets, props and wands from the Harry Potter movies set up in an educational display.

With a flourish of a wand and a whoosh of an owl’s wings, the Ontario Science Centre this week officially launched a promotional campaign in support of its Harry Potter exhibition that will open in spring 2010.

The 14,000-square foot exhibit, developed in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and experiential marketing agency Exhibitgroup/Giltspur in Toronto, will feature film sets from the previous films in the franchise and more than 200 costumes and film props. Film sets will include the Great Hall and Gryffindor common room from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as well as Hagrid’s Hut.

The flashy exhibit announcement made to the media this week featured the flying car from the second Harry Potter movie and an ‘owl post’ delivered by a real owl. It is the first of a few such events planned for 2010 to support the exhibit, the largest of which will mark the exhibit’s opening in April.

The advertising campaign behind the exhibit, with creative and media handled by Toronto’s Naked Creative, starts today with 30-second radio ads and ticket giveaways on 680 News. Print ads in the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Sun‘s holiday guide will start in the coming weeks, and exhibit ads will also be included in the Tourism Toronto Guide. An OOH buy at the intersection of Don Mills and Eglinton has also been scheduled. The December campaign is small, Anna Relyea, associate director, strategic communications, Ontario Science Centre, told MiC, but a larger campaign (still in its planning stages) is set for 2010.

‘This is our initial ad campaign to get people aware and let them know that tickets are on sale,’ Relyea said. ‘As the exhibition comes closer, a full campaign will be developed.’

The Ontario Science Centre exhibition marks the first time it has appeared outside of the US. It officially opens April 9, 2010, and runs through until Aug. 22, 2010.