London Projection Stunt
Surprise Pac-Man projection on to Sega HQ building aimed to “raise a smile”
26 February 2014 by John Owens
Namco Bandai’s covert projection of a four storey Pac-Man on to Sega’s UK HQ aimed to “raise a smile” in the gaming industry amid wider media attacks over issues like violence and trolling, its mastermind has said.
Pac is Back: Pac-Man was projected on to the walls of Sega’s HQ
Just before midnight on Monday the games developer projected 80-foot images on to its rival’s prominent Chiswick offices as part of a revival of the iconic gaming character under the ‘Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures’ brand.
The stunt, which was shut down after five minutes by security guards, was led by Namco Bandai’s in-house team alongside Stature PR.
UK marketing and PR director at Namco Bandai Lee Kirton said that the team pressed ahead despite fears the stunt could backfire.
“We were nervous about doing it as we didn’t want to upset Sega or get in trouble with the police, but we wanted to raise a smile in the industry, and show coverage doesn’t have to involve negativity on issues like violence and trolling. We wanted to do something fun with a bit of old school rock’n’roll PR and gain some coverage at the same time.”
Inspired by work with Channel 5’s The Gadget Show in November to create a Guinness World Record for ‘the largest architectural projection mapped game’, the team hired the technical brains behind the FHM stunt involving an image of Gail Porter being beamed on to the Houses of Parliament.
Projecting from a van in the car park of a building site nearby, Namco Bandai deployed three photographers to capture the image – one of whom was based in flat specially rented out for the occasion – with pictures sent out to media contacts at around 3am on Tuesday morning.
“We’d been planning it for months, and had aimed to do it at around 11pm but had to hold fire because there were still some people in the building,” said Kirton.
Pointing to one Sega creation in particular he added: “If there are two main characters from the iconic age of gaming it’s Pac-Man and Sonic The Hedgehog.”
Sega declined to comment, but took to Twitter to have the last laugh.