MLS Cup 2015
CivitasNow worked with the league to hatch a memorable ambient takeover of Columbus, with the goal of activating the city for the MLS Cup. By utilizing nighttime full-motion projections, bicycle billboards and a larger than life, 3D hashtag fabrication we were able to successfully create a fun, interactive campaign that increased interest in the championship. Oh, and we also made use out of two 850-pound soccer balls along the way.
But beyond those street-level tactics, the one thing MLS did exceptionally well was tap into its existing social media audience in a truly engaging way: It leveraged a community-driven digital asset -- the hashtag #MLSCUP -- and brought it to life in a physical space. More on the importance of that in a moment.
First let’s dive into some key takeaways for a sports brand looking to develop an on-site interactive campaign in crunchtime.
1. Collaborate on the Campaign with Locals
The marketing team at MLS understands that every franchise city has its own flavor. And to seed a message that builds anticipation and excitement for such a marquee event, they needed to connect with creative minds on a local level and form quick partnerships. This is important because a local group will innately know the lay of the land and where to position the messaging for maximum effect. So once the campaign concept is approved the best choke-points are already identified and activated efficiently. For example, our bicycle billboards cruised past busy downtown lunch hotspots and zipped through hip neighborhoods, while our massive building projections were visible near nightlife entertainment destinations. When you truly have to take a campaign directly to a market where you don’t have foot soldiers, it’s best to trust people who live, work and play there.
2. Leverage a Digital Asset
Thanks to social media, every sports brand has existing digital assets they can choose to leverage, but few seem to really take a chance and explore how to breath life into something as mundane as a hashtag. With nearly half a million followers on Instagram, 1.6 million followers on Twitter and nearly 2 million likes on Facebook, MLS looked at a hashtag as a way to engage all three platforms, but we found a way to bring it out of the digital realm and make it tangible. What if we built 5-foot tall letters that spelled out MLSCUP, plus the # to boot? Ten hours later, we had a custom built, movable #MLSCUP to display all around the city. Photo ensued, lots of photos. Unprompted, pure engagement that resulted in over 24,000 Instagram photos tagged with #MLSCUP.
3. Explore How To Repurpose Resources
Remember those 850-pound soccer balls I mentioned? Since we were moving forward with the huge #MLSCUP install, the league realized it had previously fabricated two enormous soccer ball replicas for the 2015 All-Star game. They shipped the balls to Columbus and included them at various locations around the city during the campaign. This example certainly won’t pertain to every sports brand out there, but it highlights a point when you are trying to execute an interactive campaign quickly: Exhaust all options and resources (within reason) that will bring added value.
There is no true blueprint for ramping up an interactive campaign in a matter of days, but having a clear-cut strategy is the best place to start. Hopefully these points add up to help your next campaign score some goals!
On Friday, October 9th, the whole city gathered in the Arena District to rally for our Blue Jackets in preparation for their home opener. Columbus rolled out the blue carpet for fans to gather and transformed the Nationwide Arena District into one giant welcoming party. We were there to welcome our hometown heros.
With our new projection capabilities, we constructed a 40-foot projection screen behind the Arch in McFerson Commons and projected a full motion video created specifically for this iconic arch, highlighting the Blue Jackets and hyping up fans for what is sure to be an incredible season. We achieved this feat by using a 20,000 lumen projector, illuminating the arch from behind. Massive window graphics, as well as gobo lights also embellished the area, as fans gathered McFerson Commons to capture this truly experiential event on their phones.
Strolling down the hopping streets of Columbus on a crisp Midwestern night, a beacon of light gleams before you: the Columbus Crew. Recently, we executed a guerilla projection advertising campaign, shining the Crew’s logo across a myriad of the most loved bars and restaurants in Columbus. Jaws dropped as Columbus folks strolled for post-work drinks and pre-night out dinners. These projections gave a clear message to all who passed: the Columbus Crew is in the playoffs and they are ready for Columbus to stand with them to fight. An Instagram-worthy sight to see, that ignited in the smartphones of passers-by, and virally swept across an array of social networks. Our pop-up projections acted as catalysts in the excitement for the Crew playoff season.
We recently partnered with Ologie and COTA, the Central Ohio Transit Authority, to compliment their campaign launch by creating an outdoor campaign that mimicked the style and effect these large-scale installations have on the public.
These larger than life letters spelling out the transportation system’s name made their debut at Red, White & Boom right before Fourth of July weekend, and have popped up in various other locations across Central Ohio since then. Each letter itself measures 6' tall, 6'-8' wide, and 2 feet deep. They are made of an lightweight industrial foam, coated in epoxy, and then wrapped in vinyl, allowing us to customize each individual installation. One of the best parts of each of these installations is that the letters fit the surroundings and occasion. For Red, White & Boom, the letters patriotically displayed our nation's flag. Most recently, the installation at the zoo simultaneously camouflaged to its surroundings, yet vibrantly stood out in its cheeky animal prints.
When our client Warhol & WALL St. came to us with this fun project for the Ohio Lottery, we couldn’t resist. Located en route to the hub for Ohio State Homecoming tailgates, Lane Avenue, we staked our claim in heart of Buckeye country. Passersby were asked to rip off a velcro piece to reveal their reward and the results were both successful and exhilarating. For hours on end, people stopped to stand in line for a chance to win money and other prizes. At the end of the day, Cash Explosion gave out over $3500 in prizes.
In addition to the large scratch-off ticket, the whole site was bustling with a mobile team getting people excited about the prizes, a DJ keeping the party bumpin’, and a blow-up booth with exciting signage drawing people in by the dozens. It was truly a total, experiential event that combined a fun gaming opportunity with a creative way to advertise the Ohio Lottery’s Cash Explosion.
Holiday Gala 2015
Chalk Stencils for Dreamforce 2015
Dreamforce 2015, September 15th - 18th. A gathering of the best minds and businesses in Salesforce World.
Bluewolf, a global business consulting firm, activated guerrilla advertising tactics in San Francisco during the conference. Promoting their State of Salesforce report - the streets were decorated with Bluewolf's new brand.
Chalk art is temporary and non-damaging to the environment. A simple, cost-effective method to takeover an environment.
When Mid-Ohio Foodbank approached us to help them promote this campaign, they wanted media that was bold, inventive, and fun. They came to the right team.
We created chalk stencils, pavement graphics, parking lot stripes, carrot pens, custom coffee sleeves, and our pièce de résistance, enormous carrot piggy banks installed at Easton Town Center and The Short North.
The Foodbank really wanted to approach this awareness campaign in a different manner than past campaigns. They wanted to make the central Ohio community feel engaged and united to end hunger. With our sculptural pieces scattered throughout the city, Mid-Ohio Foodbank's message is made clear and fresh.
As a promotion between Polaris Fashion Place and radio station Mix 107.9, we created a physical, interactive version of a Pinterest board, towering over the Polaris food court at 40 feet by 15 feet. The Pinterest wall is composed of a collage of different products that can be found in various stores within Polaris Fashion Place, that are a part of radio host Trish's Wishlist.
The Pinterest wall will last throughout the holiday season, providing Polaris shoppers with gift-giving inspiration and holiday cheer.
Over Pride Weekend, we did a special projection highlighting the Cirque du Soleil show, Kooza. Boasting extravagant costumes and insane acrobatics, a full motion wall projection for this show showcased its ornate and elaborate nature. As families and friends enjoyed the beautiful evening in The Short North, they passed by this projection that simultaneously fit in with its artistic surroundings, yet quickly and effortlessly captivated passers-by.
Imagine these large scale projections lighting up the walls of buildings in your hopping downtown in the evening. Whether it's along the musical streets of Nashville, the cool coffee shop-lined alleys of Portland, or the bustling avenues of Chicago, projection advertisements reach an average of 7,000 unique viewers per unit per night, depending on its given location.
The campaign, "Where's The Line?", addresses family violence and focuses on providing information and tools to bystanders. We implemented coffee sleeves, billboards, Bike Share Stations, streetscapes, and wallscapes in order to spread the center's message. From suburban markets to Downtown Columbus, this campaign was about raising brand awareness and building equity.
With alternative media, the question frequently arises around data and analytics. With our programs, we're able to track impressions through daily effective circulation (DEC). Take a look at the impressions report for our sleeves, wallscapes and other alternative media.
DNC Selection Committee Visit
We were given the opportunity to help make Columbus look its absolute best for the arrival of the Democratic National Convention selection committee. Columbus was one of five cities being considered as the location for the convention in 2016, and what better way to show that Columbus is the perfect location for the DNC than by showcasing its ingenuity with our adventurous forms of advertising?
For Columbus 2016 we provided blue runway carpets, elevator and window graphics, and a special projection on the side of the Miranova building at night, which would be illuminated by fireworks bursting in the background. This beautiful location in Downtown Columbus acted as the perfect canvas for which we were able to adorn with our media and take advantage of ambient locations for the takeover.
A collection of past one-step executions that we love — clients spanning from Boca Raton, Florida to San Francisco, California.