Issue #18

Large-Scale Event Stunts

Go big or go home is having its moment in events.

Consumers and show attendees are pretty distracted today. There are earbuds, devices and social media; there are goggles to wear and augmented reality overlays to explore. It’s why experience builders are turning to something that can quite literally tower over the competition—scale. Bold graphics, giant screens with movement and larger-than-life stunt installations are capturing eyeballs, and then, driving amplification.

Take Warner Bros., which for its film Kong: Skull Island, nixed flashy promotions in favor of a lightly branded yet not-so-subtle stunt across L.A.—gigantic “Kong footprints” that appeared to traverse the city, as a giant ape would, leaving its tracks in front of Capitol Records, on Dockweiler Beach, in front of L.A. Live, at the Dolby Theater and up at Runyon Canyon.

Carlsberg beer in London activated a large-scale “pairing” in time for Easter, an important time of year for business for the brand in the country, and a time when chocolate is enjoyed, too. It created a pop-up bar made from chocolate outside a local brewery. Before it opened, the pop-up looked like a gigantic chocolate bar with the branding “If Carlsberg did chocolate.” After unfurling the foil, the brand revealed a working bar—all made from chocolate—serving up pints from Carlsberg-engraved milk chocolate glasses. There was a chocolate dartboard and chocolate beer stools, to boot.

In the exhibit world, scale is bringing new dimension to footprints. Large-scale screens with dynamic visual displays created bold moments in Huawei’s booth at CES 2017, and at Under Armour’s booth, two-story digital displays of product were bright and photograph worthy. At the auto shows this year—more large-scale and bold booth elements that framed the experiences, including a crisp, skylight that illuminated Cadillac’s stand and sculptural ribbons that framed out Acura’s space, both at the New York International Auto Show.

And suddenly those devices aren’t so distracting anymore.

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Trend Go big or go home is having its moment in events.

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