London Dungeon – Fear is a Funny Thing

Enter at your peril

For 35 years, Tooley Street’s eerie railway arches served as home to the London Dungeon – providing visitors a mischievous celebration of the Capital’s dark, torturous and disease ridden past. At its heart, a cast of actors playing London’s darkest characters, guide visitors through a medley of gruesome corpses, scurrying rats and cage-rattling skeletons. However it’s never been about out and out frights. The beauty of the Dungeon is that caustic humour pervades the whole experience, so rapturous laughter follows every shriek. Visitors are drawn into a world of banter, where mates, lovers, parents and kids feel compelled to take the piss out of each other. It’s a heady experience, but one that has continually stumped marketers in how it’s best advertised. Communications have swung between history, gore and frivolity – leaving the uninitiated puzzled by what they might experience.

Dungeon's Medley

2013 heralded a move to a new and improved home on the South Bank. It was high time that the Dungeon’s branding and advertising deliver against its experience. So our task was twofold: announce the Dungeon’s relocation and provide absolute clarity around its offer.

Our solution? Release the mischief of the Dungeon into its new neighbourhood and let the infection spread throughout the city and beyond.


Free-hand typography introduced the cheekiness and dynamism of the Dungeon’s cast that had previously eluded marketers. Activated through a take-over of waterloo station, static poster sites were transformed into a panoramic stage for London’s greatest mischief-makers to mock each other and plunge passers by into scenes straight out of the Dungeon.

Waterloo 4

A film shot in bullet time, swirls viewers through a journey of mischief, laughter and fright; boyfriends wince in pain as their girlfriends squeeze their hands in fear, school children laugh hysterically as their teacher is made a fool of, and visitors, rats and personal affects seem suspended in air as they’re displaced through banter, jumps and giggles.

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