Juxta was tasked with the role of coming up with a unique concept to draw attention to the theatrical release of GET SMART that was keeping in line with the light-hearted action-packed spy spoof. No easy feat, but Patrick and Sara decided the shoe phone booth as seen in the film was key to highlight to ignite the curiosity of fans who knew the slightly off-the-wall characters and peak the interest of new fans.
Warner Bros. thought the idea was genius and after seeking filmmaker and talent approval gave their prototype shoe phone booth the green light. Patrick and the Juxta team set out acquiring four eighties-style second hand phone booths and retrofitting them onsite in-studio to include standee characters and custom film signage featuring the message “Free local and long distance shoe phone calls”. Next up was creating shoe phones that actually worked, which prompted Patrick to strike a co-promotion with Toronto’s Dack’s Shoes. Dack’s custom fitted the activated Samsung Jack into the sole of the shoe and alas the shoe phone was born.
The shoe phone booths were shipped to each of the major markets; Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and one remained in Toronto where they were featured in multiple activations in their respective location. In Toronto the Shoe Phone Booth was featured at six home Blue Jays games, and was integrated into the on field TV package for the seventh inning stretch. It also made appearances at the Toronto FC tailgate party where a Q107 radio host gave a live broadcast as well as stand alone events at Union Station, Yonge and Bloor, Bloor and Avenue and Queen St. West and the opening of the theatre complex AMC Yonge Dundas Square. Patrick and his team worked overtime; acquiring permits, shipping/set-up throughout the month-long activation leading up to the films theatrical release.
The stunt garnered impressive media coverage including film critic Richard Crouse using the shoe phone during his film review segment on Canada AM. Many of the shoe phone booths attracted fans lining up around the block for a chance to make a phone call that more often than not started with “you’ll never guess, I’m calling you from the GET SMART shoe phone”. GET SMART ranked number 1 at the box office in Canada opening weekend, signaling this publicity stunt was a major success.