Brand Experiences Get Sticky

Brain candy. Eye glue. Today marketers are finding new ways to lock down consumers and get them to stay in place.

Marketers have always tried to get people to stop and stare. The age-old example of a brand experience is that trite mime who always stopped Grandma in front of the store window. This behind the glass concept has been updated in recent years by having people sleeping, reading books, or other dramatic feats of patience.

Another sticky example was the Lady Gaga windows at Barney’s for the 2011 holiday season featured elaborate displays that included a hirsute women draped over a couch, a mermaid floating in waves, and a woman figurine on a moving bicycle. (The Bergdorf-Goodman windows on Fifth Avenue in New York City have also always been consistent show stoppers.)

But today, from iPads in retail locations to digital billboards, corporations and the marketers who serve them are making more dramatic efforts to wow their audiences.

One expert at this is London-based Universal Everything, whose startling videowalls for Hyundai, Samsung, and others have been smashing successes not only at the events and corporate halls where they have been installed, but also on Vimeo. Their Made By Humans execution for Hyundai was favorited by Vimeo last year, and is as stimulating a piece of gobsmack as it gets.

“The commissions aren’t about advertising, but to create an immersive atmosphere rather than a hard sell,” says Universal Everything’s founder and creative director, Matt Pyke. “It’s about creating mesmerizing expressions of brand values.”

To help ideate their Hyundai brand experience, Universal Everything designers were invited to experience the Hyundai culture and create something that expressed the values they felt. The result was a series of massive video walls displaying videos with titles like Primal Creation, and We Are All Unique. The Hyundai installation is 24 meters wide and contains 44,000 pixels. Universal Everything worked with a London-based visual effects company in order to get the high resolution detail necessary.

“It feels like art,” says Pyke. “But is powered by their brand.”

The project took about nine months and several million dollars to complete.

Rather than placing a sculpture or artwork in their main lobby, these days corporations are installing videowalls that serve an architectural function, as well as offer a flexible solution for expressing brand values and brand storytelling.

Brand experiences have become as important for people working inside the company body, as they are for consumer-facing communications. At the DeutscheBank head office, employees entering the lobby each day are greeted by a massive videowall that changes in appearance, color scheme or behavior each day. Sometimes it is an abstraction of the logo. More often, it is not.

From showstoppers like Coca Cola vending machines dispensing free colas, to the interconnectivity of Big Data tracking, we can look forward to even more attempts to stop us in our tracks. 

“It’s a lot of work,” says Pyke. “But there’s a lot of longevity in it.”