Sonic the Hedgehog hijacks Saturday night as Paramount catapult its 90s video-game icon into the future
Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most iconic video game characters of all time, and this year, 19 years after his first outing on the Sega Genesis games console, he was due to speed onto big screens for his feature film debut.
Our brief was to present Sonic as a modern-day superhero who could connect with kids and parents alike. In a crowded half-term release window, a myriad of big franchise heroes with far greater spend and higher reconnaissance with kids, plus the fact that very few video games’ characters make a successful transition to the big screen, we knew we needed to be more precise and more creative with our media to land with impact.
With an ambitious box office target of £11 million, we ultimately needed to convince families to choose Sonic over key competitors during the half-term holidays, including Dr Dolittle.
Boasting nearly 20 years’ brand heritage and fan expectation, we based our whole campaign around the simple tenets of our heroes’ defining attributes – his playful character and his supersonic speed. We felt this simplicity in approach was so authentic to the product that it would ignite interest among the retro audience (parents who knew him from their own misspent youths), while raising enough excitement to interest a new audience of modern-day kids.
We delivered huge client growth with this campaign as Sonic not only smashed Box Office targets, delivering £19 million, but it topped the charts on Opening weekend with £4.7 million sales, and still sits at no.2 in the UK for Box Office totals this year.
The precision, creativity and impact that our media approach delivered was able to capture the hearts of new and old audiences, with tracking for Sonic against both kids and parents spiking by 7% and 12% respectively over launch weekend.