Marvel's Ant-Man: Ant-sized billboards

2015 | Melbourne

With Ant-Man was slated to make his debut into the marvel cinematic universe hot off the heels of fan-favourite and box-office blockbuster, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, our job was to help steal a little of the spotlight for marvel’s tiniest hero. 


The Brief 

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Already a ‘giant’ in the Marvel comic book  world, Ant-Man was slated to make his debut into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with the launch of his first feature film in July 2015, following in the footsteps of fan-favourite and box-office blockbuster, The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Already an established franchise, sharing the promotional trail with The Avengers could have been either a blessing or a curse – would it help warm up the crowd for Ant-Man, or cast a shadow over the lesser known character?

Our job was to help steal a little of the spotlight for Marvel’s tiniest hero.



Ant-Man not only represented a new breed of hero in the MCU, but also a totally new breed of movie within the superhero genre. Leading man, Paul Rudd, had only ever been seen in a comedic capacity; the name admittedly didn’t exactly command visions akin to Thor or Iron Man, even his superpower was a little ‘left of centre’.

Rather than avoid this, we chose to capitalise on it. Our strategy was to challenge fans’ preconceived ideas of the superhero genre; to introduce a new perspective on the well-worn hallmarks of the category. 

Part of Ant-Man’s appeal lies in his quirkiness – even his super power is unique; he is able to shrink in size but grow in strength. Our idea was to play on this in media. We set out to incorporate the typical formats involved in a blockbuster launch campaign – namely, Out Of Home – and create a new point of view on these for movie fans.


a billboard for ants

In conjunction with Posterscope and Showtime Media, we created hundreds of miniature replicas of large format billboards and street furniture, placing over fifty of these ‘billboards for ants’ in each major metropolitan area along the Eastern Sea Board.

The guerilla campaign ran for eight weeks, targeting high foot traffic areas to ensure maximum opportunity for exposure.

We enlisted the help of a professional photographer to capture the locations of the panels and shared these out via Marvel’s social channels, including Facebook and Twitter.

Fans all over Australia then took over, snapping pictures of the panels and sharing out via their social networks.

Happily for the client, the campaign came at a price almost as tiny as the billboards themselves – approximately $22k. 

The Results

For a tiny campaign, it certainly made a mighty impact. Our billboards made it all the way from the mean streets of Melbourne, to the bright lights of Hollywood – featuring on the red carpet of the global Ant-Man premiere.

Within the first two days of the campaign, Time Magazine and AdWeek New York had already picked up the story. From there, earned media exploded, with over 56 articles on the campaign appearing in publications globally. We even made it to the hallowed halls of the Reddit ‘Hot’ list.

The highlight, however, was undoubtedly Marvel magnate and Ant-Man creator, Stan Lee, getting in on the action and posing with one of the billboards.

Not bad for an activation that accounted for less than 2% of the total media budget for the film’s release. Looks like size doesn’t matter after all.

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