Have you ever thought about an attraction, an incentive to draw in retail customers even from a long distance? An attraction which will entertain and educate at the same time? An attraction which would be so scalable and flexible that you could make a small event or even a one month event series out of it? Well here comes the Become a Star concept from the Central European Creative D Company. People love to be entertained, and love the latest technologies. The world of television has always been interesting, especially all the buzz around TV stars and surrounding events. What about bringing the experience and technologies of television and movies closer to people? Stefan Kozak, founder of Creative D, talks about his successful project.
Vol. 1 HE STORY
How was the idea created? What was the reason behind it and what did you want to create?
The initial idea was connected with my previous working experience with many kinds of long term (14 – 30 days) “interactive” exhibitions placed in shopping centers, malls, stores, and outlets to attract as many visitors as possible. These kinds of exhibitions used to be too passive and the word interactivity was just a name without any real customer experience or interaction. At first this project had global ambitions and was created for the global market. Initially I saw the opportunity and the potential for bringing a brand new “Business to the customer’s approach” to places that people visit or have to visit quite often. Our client base is shopping malls, outlets, retail centers etc. We plan our “tours” very carefully, bearing in mind the non-competitive zones, timing and so on. Every year we are able to organize a maximum of 15 exhibitions (depending on the time frame). For almost three years we had been developing an idea on how to create and deliver a new interactive experience called infotainment & edutainment exhibition. We started to look for content that was attractive and that could accommodate a brand new live experience. We wanted to deliver content that was well-known to our potential target groups and attractive enough to build an interactive and edutaining live experience. The reason behind it was to create a new customer journey in order to build on our four main principles: The basic storyline and content should already exist and should be possible to transform into a new public experience placed in retail centers (for example Disney & Pixar = CARS = Interactive “Welcome to the world of CARS, powered by McQueen” or “Local TV = Become a Star with…” The concept needs to be innovative, attractive and interactive by using the newest technologies and applications (for example: NFC registration at various standpoints, real time sharing of customer experiences, augmented reality content etc.) The concept has to be created and built with the “KISS” (keep it stupid simple) principle. This means:
- Easy to understand for the audience
- Easy to share the live experience
- Easy to build
- Easy to maintain and coordinate the daily tasks
The concept has to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realizable, timetable) and has to lead to a fulfilling and satisfactory sales target for our customer — eg. shopping center (increase of customer traffic, turnover of tenants etc.).
Vol. 2 DESCRIPTION
What does your exhibition look like? How many “play stations” are there at one exhibition?
I wouldn’t call it a play station, maybe experience station is the right name. The concept “Become a star with…” was built on the story of how TV, film or pop stars are born and what kind of activities they have to do to become a star. Currently we have 12 interactive standpoints where the visitors can experience various kinds of activities and tasks that real stars face. To create special, tailor-made content for every visitor we use NFC technology, augmented reality solutions and special applications for sharing, recording, cutting and creating an “outcome film” for every visitor. Everything runs automatically after placing the visitor’s NFC card on the marked place at every standpoint. A few of the experience stations are described here:
- Interactive augmented reality Dressing room and Make-up room where visitors can digitally style themselves as any kind of character they like.
- Interactive augmented reality How to move studio and Dancing studio where visitors can learn and discover the best ways to move and behave on stage or in front of the cameras.
- TV & Film Studio where every visitor or group can choose the story they want to take part in (TV – eg. the weather forecast or evening news, Film — adventure with a dragon, comedy etc.)
- Dubbing, After-effects & Sound Studio, after shooting the film or TV scene, a short film appears in the sound studio where the visitor can add post-synchronization, dubbing and sound effects
- Director & Final stage where the visitors experience what they’ve learned so far on a real stage and receive their first movie “How... became a star”.
- The most talented visitors (actors, speakers, dancers…) who have participated in the exhibition are chosen by our TV partners to become “new stars” and take part in local sitcoms and TV shows.
We have been developing this project for almost three years + 2 non sleeping months and have collaborated with 6 companies from 4 countries and about 117 people. Every working day of the exhibition we have a minimum of 1 onsite exhibition leader, 10 onsite crew animators, 1 offsite technical expert, and a maximum of 2 oansite exhibition leaders, 10 – 22 onsite crew animators, 1 onsite technical expert, and 3 offsite technical backups, developers and programmers.
Vol. 3 UDIENCE
Who is your audience? Has it only been created just for kids? Why?
The story of the audience has a long strategy. Whole families or groups of teenagers can try to host the Weather Forecast, act in a show or dub a part of a popular local series. The power of the experience is enhanced by costumes and accessories, which are handed over to group visitors at the beginning of the tour. Once a person understands that this is the main goal of the exhibition, they get closer to discovering more about themselves and learn from the experience of the role they played. Visitors can try standing in front of the cameras in real time and on their own, letting the group guide lead them towards the desirable outcome.
Basically it is built for the A-Z audience (from 3yo – 99yo). The concept itself is attractive and built for four target groups:
- Kids (4–12 yo), the edutaining and attraction principle. We built it from this base. After an organized visit to the shopping center where the exhibition is placed, kids come home with their super cool experience, show it, share their movies and pictures from the exhibition online and ask their friends, parents, grandparents etc. to come back. This leads to an increase of customer traffic and tenant turnover and it helps to build shopping habits. Not to mention creating a unique image & brand for the retail client.
- Youths (12–18 yo), there is always special and attractive edu-content targeted to youths to increase the range of their possible video outcomes
- Families (20–40 yo) with at least 1 kid and which uses the same principle as in point a.)
- Individual visitors
Vol. 4 LANS
The future is very bright. We are organizing this new and exciting B2C communications event in places where it has never happened before (Pixar, Madame Tussauds, Universal, EMI etc.). The exhibition concept creates a win for the retailer as well as local TV. For the shopping mall, which serves as the venue, it brings a real increase in traffic through vital TV partnerships, which also brings awareness. The shopping mall can manage the set up and bring attractions to the places where the increase in traffic is most needed. The major source of mass awareness is through partnerships with popular local TV. For the television partner this event creates a unique possibility to meet their audience and have almost whatever kind of B2C interaction they like. Since August 2015 we’ve been working very hard to deliver really unique infotainment, edutainment and interaction in one exhibition. And we’ve seen that the initial ideas were right ☺. Currently we are implementing our concept “Become a star with” using three kinds of exhibition scopes and our calendars are filling very quickly. After the series of events in Slovakia, the exhibition is heading towards other European countries, where it will be ready to be constructed in shopping centers as of spring 2017. Bookings for the European calendar opens on 1.4.2016. We are already developing four new concepts that are planned to be launched from 2018 – 2020.
11 interactive features
18,000 organized visitors plus thousands of individual visitors
Up to 1200 automated short movies created
30 exhibition days