For one generation of moviegoers, all you have to do is say “Ghostbusters” “ and the Ray Parker, Jr., title song immediately becomes an earworm. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment wanted to create a similar response among a younger generation as well as remind their parents why they’d loved the movie so much in the first place.
So it pulled out all the stops to mark the 30th anniversary of the film’s debut. The campaign launched on April 19—Record Store Day—with the release of a glow-in-the-dark Ghostbusters vinyl record featuring the original ditty and several remixes. A partnership with Gallery 1988, a Los Angeles venue specializing in pop-culture-related art, followed, as did a rerelease of the movie in more than 700 theaters across North America, Blu-ray anniversary editions of the original film and its sequel, and an extensive licensed line of clothing, toys, and collectibles.
The momentum continued throughout the summer and into autumn. The Toronto International Film Festival declared Sept. 5 Bill Murray Day, complete with a special screening of Ghostbusters and a Bill Murray Q&A. #BillMurrayDay trended on Twitter throughout the day.
Krispy Kreme got onboard as well with special Ghostbusters doughnuts. Decorated with a splat of “slime” and the film logo or with the face of the iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, these were filled with marshmallow (not, as fans might have suspected, Gozer). This aspect of the promotion alone generated 21.5 million media impressions, with the doughnut chain reporting the most social-media interaction it had enjoyed in years.
Capping off the campaign: A reunion of cast members made the cover of Entertainment Weekly, and Today featured an interview with cast members.
The entire campaign generated 105 million media impressions with an ad value estimated at more than $11 million. The success of the theatrical rerelease and the merchandise sales led Sony to confirm that a new Ghostbusters movie was in the works, scheduled for release in 2016… giving us plenty of time to protect ourselves in case of a total protonic reversal.