Taste of Home, the food and entertainment magazine and website, is back in New York City’s Madison Square Park through Dec. 18 with the third iteration of its holiday-themed Gingerbread Boulevard installation, but this year the emphasis is on interactivity and more consumer involvement than in seasons past.
The publication expects up to 350,000 on-site visitors and a reach of 10 million via social media, which includes a digital campaign in partnership with its sponsor Folgers Coffee that pushes the #holidayheritage hashtag on tasteofhome.com and in daily updates on Twitter and Instagram.
“Last year we focused on holiday traditions, but we picked what we thought were the best ones and put them out to consumers,” says Joe Losardo, executive brand director at Taste of Home. “This year we wanted to flip the switch, so we invited consumers across the country to share their holiday traditions with us.”
Ginger “bricks” and a “frosting”-covered roof and candy-like trimmings adorn the exterior of the structure. Inside, a photo gallery hangs above a candy cane fireplace and pulls in images tagged #holidayheritage on Twitter and Instagram from consumers across the country capturing their favorite holiday traditions.
Through motion-sensitive interactive projection triggered by sensors around the house, consumers are able to make elements in the house change and move. By waving their arms, they can decorate a Christmas tree, make gingerbread men dance, elves jump up and down, popcorn pop, candies spin and a marshmallow snowman disappear and reappear. The lighting changes from day to night and back again, and smells of gingerbread, and holiday sounds add sensory effects to the space as well.
“The holidays are a big time for us at Taste of Home,” Losardo says. “This is a way for us to bring the brand to life beyond the pages of the magazine and beyond the website in a literally larger than life kind of way.”
The installation kicked off on Dec. 6 with a tree-lighting ceremony in Madison Square Park and a tent where brand ambassadors distributed free cups of Folgers Coffee and gift bags containing a can of Folgers and a copy of Taste of Home magazine. Agency: In-house.
Photo Courtesy: Margarita Corporan