In TNT’s upcoming drama The Last Ship, an airborne pandemic virus threatens the world and the crew of a U.S. Navy destroyer finds that gasmasks are the survival accessory of choice.
Tying into the storyline, the network is opening an immersive art experience in the Big Apple featuring gas mask fashion from up-and-coming and influential artists who re-imagine the post-apocalyptic.
TNT is also going under underground with Purell promotion in New York to create buzz for the Michael Bay-action series.
Beginning today (June 16), the network is taking over Manhattan’s Grand Central subway station with billboards that have Purell dispensers attached.
Featuring such copy as “The Virus isn’t the only enemy,” “80% of the world is dead” “and Whatever you do, don’t breathe,” the dispenser-equipped billboards will line corridors in multiple locations in the bustling subterranean hub. From these sanitation stations of sorts, passers-by can clean their hands with Purell.
“People are very interested in the notion of pandemic. The Last Ship is not a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by zombies or aliens,” Tricia Melton, senior vice president of entertainment marketing and branding for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, said of the show premiering on June 22 at 9 p.m.. “The feedback from our research company is that people feel that this is realistic, that it will play on their fears and hopes for survival.”
As to Purell’s marketing position with the campaign, Melton noted: “Sanitize and survive. Grand Central is certainly a crowded place.”
TNT also will have branded Last Ship street teams in place to hand out Purell samples on June 20-21.
TNT and the Gojo Industries brand worked with marketing agency mono on the Grand Central activation.
Meanwhile, "Survival is an Art: The Last Ship Experience" will feature a gas mark fashion show on June 20 at Dia 545 at 545 West 22nd Street, with work from German designer Irene Luft, whom Melton said made a splash at last year's Fashion Week. Series stars Eric Dane and Rhona Mitra are expected to be on hand that night.
The pop-up gallery will also showcase exhibits from Gary Lockwood, the Bob Basset Workshop, Tom Banwell, Nathan Vincent, Singer Blake, Wren Britton and Howie Katz.
“An entire culture has emerged around the edge of the world,” said Melton, who also believes the gallery will set sail with a significant audience for The Last Ship. “We’re looking for the series to appeal to women, as well as men.”
TNT worked with entertainment branding agency loyalkaspar in establishing the Gas Mask Fashion Show and Exhibit.