Penguin Random House has unveiled a replica Oval Office inside London Waterloo station complete with a Donald Trump lookalike and secret service bodyguards.
The pop-up is to mark the launch of The President Is Missing, the new novel written by former US President Bill Clinton and thriller writer, James Patterson, which takes inspiration from co-author Bill Clinton’s 1993 - 2001 presidential terms.
The President Is Missing has already been signed by US television network Showtime for a multi-part TV drama. The novel’s plot follows an American President whose sudden disappearance shocks the world, as the reason behind it is "far worse than anyone could ever imagine".
The fully interactive set is accessible to the public at London Waterloo station until 8:30pm on Monday (4th June), with 'President Trump' available between 9am and 11am. The pop-up at Waterloo comes after the publisher's popular Oval Office installation at the 2018 London Book Fair.
Clinton said: “James Patterson and I have come up with three of the most frightening days in the history of the presidency. And it could really happen.”
Susan Sandon, m.d. of Cornerstone, Penguin Random House, said: “Re-creating The Oval Office for commuters at one of London’s busiest stations seemed a fun and fitting way to mark the global publication of Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s superb thriller, The President Is Missing.”
The Oval Office installation took more five hours to build, with six workers constructing it through the night from 1am – 6am, said the publisher. The installation is a true-to-scale replica, measuring 3 x 3 x 2.5 metres.
The publicity for the book kicked off on Sunday with interview in Sunday Times Magazine. Today (4th June) there will be a BBC package running, leading with the Today programme then BBC Breakfast and running across all BBC platforms. On Tuesday, there will be an interview with the authors on ITV’s Lorraine.
The publisher has also secured advertising in "the biggest and most impactful" sites in two of London’s busiest main terminal stations. Conveying the cyberterrorism themes of the book, motion screens at Waterloo and Euston feature a "hacked" ad creative. Additionally, static poster sites across the national rail network feature the pre-publication reviews of the book including an endorsement from Lee Child.
Discussing the campaign marketing director Rebecca Ikin said: "The response to the Oval Office recreation at London Book Fair was so phenomenal we felt we just had to recreate it in a full consumer-facing environment. We’ve had a great day interacting with commuters and talking about this brilliant new thriller with them. What better way to start a Monday morning than stepping into a very different kind of office – and providing a fun photo-booth for sharing photos on social media.
"This kind of experiential activation is usually reserved for big cinematic releases but we wanted to be really ambitious with this campaign. Books should be able to compete with the biggest entertainment brands – there’s nothing finer than a great book and the reader’s own imagination – James Patterson and Bill Clinton’s The President is Missing thriller is absolutely that."