Creative Media Techniques (CMT) produced projections onto five of London’s premier financial institutions for the launch of the new Motorola SLVR mobile phone handset.
CMT was working for brand experience specialists Cake Media. The idea was to create a high-profile-high-impact stunt for the press launch of Motorola’s latest and funkiest multimedia handset to 250 press and Motorola guests and VIPs.
CMT’s project manager, Richard Hawkins says, “Cake’s Gary Wilson approached us saying that they wanted to achieve a transformation of the city skyline using projected images of the phone and the Motorola ‘bat wings’ logos.”
Hawkins has been involved in several past high profile advertising stunts using projection. However, this one was a particular challenge because of the location, the high ambient light levels, and the logistics of realizing the client’s very precise expectations in a short timescale-– the job was finally confirmed just 12 days beforehand.
They initially visited the roof garden of the Coq D’Argent restaurant at No 1. Poultry and identified a series of potentially projectable buildings. Then began the hectic task of obtaining the various permissions needed and finding the optimum positions from which it was practical to hit all of them.
The targets were whittled down to five towers--the Old Stock Exchange (two fascias), Tower 42 (aka The Nat West Tower), Deutsche Bank, Lloyds, and the Old Barclays HQ. Two locations were identified for rigging the projectors: on top of the Royal Exchange and the roof of a derelict building across the road, at 67 Lombard Street.
Fourteen 7K Hardware For Xenon projectors were used in total, running in pairs with the images overlaid for maximum brightness on each surface. Eleven were on top of the Royal Exchange and three on the roof of 67 Lombard Street. The Lombard street projectors were trained on the Old Barclays building. The throw distances varied, with the longest being 460m to the top of Tower 42.
Working with a crew from Gallowglass, the CMT team (also including Gino and Ram Malocca and Alain Bardouil) of eight people manually hauled nearly two tons of projection gear up seven flights of stairs, the only mechanical aids being a tiny lift in both buildings, too small to fit most of the gear. At the Royal Exchange, they then had to construct a box truss rig on the roof over the top of the skylight to hoist the gear up the final few feet and onto the roof.
The artwork--a series of static single 6' square slides--was produced by Gary Oldknow, consisting of photographic images of the phone handset and Motorola’s logo. The images of the silver phone had the contrast boosted to enhance their impact on the primarily grey and glassy buildings, and they also had to contend with most of the offices fluorescent lights being left on.
Harsh environmental conditions included sub zero temperatures, an icy roof, and a bitter wind chill factor for the two nights of load-in and programming before the show.
The show ran from 7 to 11 pm and was a massive success.