Spotted! Disney stages a TTC battle royale

A promotion for the new Disney movie Alice in Wonderland sees the Red Queen and the White Queen staking out their turf on the north and south sides of the Queen subway station in Toronto.

Transit riders in Toronto may not have asked for it, but they will be embroiled in a fantastic battle on their way to and from work every day for the next month.

Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada officially debuted its ‘Queen vs. Queen’ media installation at the oh-so-appropriate Queen subway station today, the centrepiece of its Toronto media campaign for its new film, Alice in Wonderland.

Through a transit station domination, the studio, in association with media agency Starcom, has enacted a media battle pitting the film’s Red Queen (played by Helena Bonham Carter) against the White Queen (played by Anne Hathaway) on opposite sides of the subway station. Images of each queen fill the media space on either side of the platform: the White Queen on the northbound side and Red Queen filling all the poster space on the southbound side.

In a TTC first, the transit commission allowed the station name to be incorporated into the advertising, as the words ‘red’ and ‘white’ appear above ‘Queen’ in the station name on the platform. Decals with other characters in the movies also appear throughout the station.

‘Being in the subway station really encourages people to immerse into the world of Wonderland and live that royal battle,’ Sarah Armstrong, strategy supervisor, Starcom Canada, tells MiC. ‘We really wanted to find a way to reach people in a familiar place but in an unexpected way, something to stand out against all the other films out right now.’

Queen Station was ideal for several reasons, not least the fact that it’s out-of-home but indoors in February, and that almost 60,000 of the TTC’s million daily riders pass through every day. ‘So not only was transit a good place for us,’ she says, ‘but really by playing on the station name, Queen subway station became a stage for the royal rivalry.’

The creative, done in-house by Disney, was done specifically for Toronto and is the only place it will appear. The installation will be up for four weeks, and will be accompanied with a national media campaign including speciality and conventional television on multiple networks nationally and additional out-of-home in Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

Alice in Wonderland will be released March 5, 2010.