Denizen, Johnny Depp Bring Mad Hatter Poster to Life for Disney’s ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’

With Johnny Depp once again becoming the Mad Hatter for Disney’s upcoming Alice in Wonderland sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass, branded content company Denizen unveiled an inventive twist on the digital billboard format, adding wonder and a new level of interactivity to the film’s promotion.

Disney and Denizen joined forces with Depp for a one-day event at Disneyland in which the parties engaged unsuspecting park goers via a seemingly innocuous animated Alice poster. However, hidden away in an offsite studio, Depp – adorned in full Mad Hatter hair, makeup and regalia – was streamed live through the poster, allowing Depp to view Disneyland visitors and interact in real time, eliciting surprised reactions and smiles as the event progressed.

According to Denizen Co-Founder Joel Jensen, the process from concept to execution for the Alice Through the Looking Glass project happened rather quickly.

“Disney liked the poster concept immediately and passed it along to Johnny Depp’s team, who also jumped on board right away,” explains Jensen. “We knew it would be a challenge to accommodate schedules, so it was a race to develop or invent a way to create the lagless, high-definition communication we wanted for both sides. In the end, all that hard work paid off.”

The Alice Disneyland marketing effort signifies the first collaboration between Denizen, Disney Parks and Disney Studios, incorporating technology into the whimsical, mischievous themes of the Mad Hatter and Alice world at large. “We wanted to show that by being technically innovative, we can find ways to connect fans to the characters and the worlds they love,” adds fellow Denizen Co-Founder, Joseph Matsushima. “That goes beyond the one-day event at Disneyland; it goes into the way we wanted the video viewers to experience the content. We wanted to audiences to feel like they were a part of something special and magical, made possible through the film and Disney.”

As the Alice Disneyland video continues attracting more viewership and media coverage, Jensen notes how the interactive poster concept serves as a fitting example of how his company approaches each project.

“We always want to create content that accomplishes our client’s marketing goals while also being share-worthy, first and foremost. This was certainly a great experience on the day of the execution, but that experience was also 100% in service to the video product that is going viral now — which allows for viewers all over the world to feel just as much a part of the magic as anybody who was there that day.”




Client: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Agency: Denizen Company
Title: “The Mad Hatter Surprise”

Production: Denizen Company
Director: Denizen Company
Director of Photography: Hal Long, Adam Becker
Producer: C. Fitz, Carolyn Bratkowski
Agency Producer: Marissa Gallant
Tech Producer: Blake Morrison
Production Manager: Carmen Quiros
Production Coordinator: Rick Theberge
Production Designer: Gillas Correa
Editors: Nico Bellamy, Michael Darrow
Color: Jordan Branch
Audio Mix: Michel Tyabji

About Denizen:

Denizen Company wins audiences for brands by creating and distributing headline-grabbing, internet-breaking, award-winning content. We’re not an agency, we are a mission to make the internet better for brands and users alike. We’re all denizens of the web. It’s our job to make it as awesome as possible to be here.