Willy Wonka is coming to Broadway and it must be believed to be seen.

A mouth-watering new advertising campaign from AKA NYC promotes next year’s premiere of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY The New Musical as bringing a special excitement to New York City. In the first of three teaser spots breaking online this week, the show’s arrival in Manhattan is heralded by a thick bank of purple clouds that spreads over the city, and the appearance of a mysterious figure in white spats and a purple coat.

Rolling out over the next several weeks, additional spots depict a city increasingly electrified by Wonka magic. The campaign’s climactic ad is a visual effects tour de force as the eccentric candy maker works his magic on some of New York’s most familiar landmarks…with spectacularly sweet results.

“We want people to know that a big event is coming to New York, a landmark for New Yorkers and tourists,” says AKA NYC Content Director Jamaal Parham.
The familiarity audiences already have with the CHARLIE story, through the Roald Dahl books and movie versions, allowed AKA’s creative team the freedom to take the campaign in an innovative direction. “People love CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY,” says Creative Director Ryan Cunningham. “The education you have to do with most new shows is already built in. That allowed us to focus on the excitement of this beloved story coming to our city as a musical.”

Written and directed by AKA’s in-house creative team, Jamaal + Bashan, the campaign involved shoots at 22 sites across the city, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Dumbo, the Staten Island Ferry, Times Square, Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain and Grand Central Station. The campaign’s climactic ad features more than 30 visual effects shots.

“We romanticize New York,” Parham observes. “Our city is a little more fantastical than what you experience in daily life, but it’s also very authentic. The Bethesda Garden is a magical place; the Flat Iron Building is an icon. We picked the city’s best locations and we transform them.”

The concept for the campaign was born out of extensive research conducted by AKA’s Show & Tell Research. The broadcast campaign will be accompanied by print, outdoor and online advertising and marketing elements, as well as a number of surprises. “It’s uncommon to use teasers in the rollout of a new Broadway musical,” notes Cunningham. “We took this approach because it gave us the opportunity to capitalize on the built-in anticipation and convey the emotion and magic of CHARLIE coming to New York.”

Advertiser: Sugar High Theater Productions Inc. Client: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The New Musical Title: “Something Delicious” Campaign Advertising Agency: AKA NYC AKA Managing Partners: Elizabeth Furze, Scott Moore Account Director: Jennifer Blanco Account Manager: Jenna Bissonnette Account Executive: Sean Fry Directors: Jamaal+Bashan Production: Executive Creative Director: Bashan Aquart Content Director: Jamaal Parham Creative Director: Ryan Cunningham, David Barrineau AKA Content Executive Producer: Adam Coffia AKA Production Coordinator: Jodie Tipple Copywriter: Ryan Cunningham, Sam McMenamin Cinematographer: Adam McDaid Assistant Director: Bobby Jackson 2nd Assistant Director: Marc Graiser 1st Assistant Camera: Kyle Anido 2nd Camera Assistant: Brett Checkelsky Steadicam Operator: Korey Robinson Production Company: Very Rare Productions Line Producer: Monique Perreault Very Rare Production Coordinator: Kaream Appleton Script Supervisor: Anne De Wolf DIT: Joe Belack Gaffer: Josh Fordham Best Boy Electric: Jason Duffett Swing: Robert Pearson, Jack Cronin Key Grip: Kevin Sweeney Best Boy Grip: Lalo Flores Set & Prop Stylist: Jason Singleton Set & Prop Assistants: Kristina Porter, Sean Callaghan Wardrobe: PC Williams Wardrobe Assistants: Jamie Ortega, Rika Nurrahmah Hair and Makeup: Brit Cochran Hair and Makeup Assistant: Janera Rose Location Manager: Joshua Shull Assistant Location Manager: Annie Watkins Casting: Donna Grossman Casting Post Production: Editors: Stephen Mlinarcik, Sam Goetz, Eli Mavros VFX: Platinum Platypus Inc. VFX CG Supervisor: Pete Sussi Compositor, 3D Tracking: Dan Pochtrager Compositor: Mark Foscolo, Mike Brant CG Modeler, Compositor: Tyler Barnas, Carlos Arrivas VFX Producer: Stuart Racey Motion Graphics: Debra Khoo, Roman Micevic AKA Associate Director: Giancarlo Bauzulli AKA Content Associate: Alex Tellez Color Grade: Michael Rossiter, The Mill Sound Mix: Michael Levesque Jr., PLUSH Studios