Innovation in Times Square Forever 21
In 2009, we partnered with Forever 21 to create a first-of-its-kind billboard that stopped crowds in their tracks, literally. Passer-by watched themselves appear on a screen high above Times Square, then watched as gigantic models picked them up, or took their picture, and sometimes even turn them into toads.
An Overwhelming Environment
Every day half a million people visit the Crossroads of the World. Once there they get treated to over 5,000 competing advertising messages. Surrounded by this hustle and bustle it’s hard enough to get people’s attention. To get them to stop, stare, point, even snap a picture? That should be impossible.
Related:Forever 21 Times Square
Innovate Past Impossible
To pull off a campaign this new required our engineering team to create whole-cloth solutions from scratch. We wrote new visual identification software that could distinguish a person from a traffic cone. We shot green screen video and layered it dynamically so it could interact with live subjects. It usually doesn’t improve a magic trick when you know how it’s done, but this is one case where the mechanics are as cool as the effect.
Outsmart, Not Outspend
Fashion shows are the conventional way for designers and retailers to show new looks and get customers excited. In our second partnership with Forever 21 we destroyed the convention of what a fashion show could be by creating the world’s first holographic fashion show. It allowed Forever 21 to maximize the number of models, looks and audiences they could involve in their shows and garnered a ton of press. Plus a holographic runways is just really cool.
The results of our partnership with Forever 21 were phenomenal. The average time a person will look at a billboard is less than 6 second. The Forever 21 board averaged over 10 minutes. Read that again. We’ll wait. The Holographic Runway also exceeded all expectations including over 86k news impressions, and was even featured in an episode of America’s Next Top Model (Go Tyra!).