The Québec City Magic Festival (known locally as the Festival de Magie de Québec) runs every year around the start of September, and it has started to get some global attention. But, the attention is not because of the festival, which brings in notable Canadian and international magicians who perform shows over the course of a weekend, alongside magic conferences, free workshops and more. What is drawing attention is actually their marketing, which for the last few years has been managed by agency lg2, with great effect.
The video shows one of the stunts that lg2 released during the promotional lead up to the Québec City Magic Festival in 2013. The stunt, which was set up at a bus stop in the city, involved a clear panel with a simple instruction to raise your arms in front of the board. When participants followed the instructions, small balls rose up within the panel as though by magic, completing the experience of making participants the magician.
Why It Works
There are a few reasons that we like this campaign. The first one is its branding. It seems like such a small consideration, but too much or too little branding can fail a campaign. The agency behind the magician stunt have carefully thought out their branding and made it entirely central, and contextually informational, without overdoing it.
There’s also a certain minimalism about this campaign that really appeals to us. This is especially true of late when many agencies have been using guerrilla marketing as a way to showcase the most outrageous performances possible for their clients, irrespective of their industry. The Québec City Magic Festival is one instance where showmanship would be expected, but instead lg2 have skirted showy and irrelevant for a simple, fitting stunt that informs participants, as well as inspires them.
The last aspect of the Québec City Magic Festival Magic Poster campaign we love, the one that really takes the cake, is the use of active participation. In today’s world, it is a challenge to bridge the gap between passive observation and active participation, but in this campaign lg2 have done just that. Using motion sensors integrally in the campaign they’ve been able to bring participants from the outside into the experience of the stunt.
Other Notable Stunts
In some ways, what is more impressive about the Québec City Magic Festival promotion from lg2 is that the Magic Poster isn’t a standalone moment of genius, it is one of a number of equally impressive stunts that the agency has done for the festival in recent years. These include the Magic Mop, a clever stunt that made use of magnets and curiosity to bring magic to the streets, the Magic Poster, which combined modern printing techniques with smartphone technology for an unexpected surprise, and Disappearance, another stunt that used rigged screens to give pedestrians the experience of vanishing all together.
It is an impressive lineup of stunts and guerrilla marketing successes by any rate, and we’re looking forward to seeing that lg2 and the Québec City Magic Festival create in the years to come.