Designing a mobile experience that transforms the inside of a truck into a museum or a science lab takes imagination, design expertise and an ability to dream outside of the box. It also requires collaboration between the designer, who has an idea in mind, and the fabricator, who knows how to build it. When it works, it’s a beautiful thing, immersing attendees in the experience and engaging them in the message. Hopefully they’ll even forget they’re inside an 18-wheeler. Instead, they’re in a loft apartment, on a sound stage or maybe even on the Titanic. How does the magic happen? Look right and read on. And don't forget to check out the photo gallery, too.
PlayStation may be a hit with gamers but don’t call the traveling PlayStation Experience a game room. Rock star fantasy camp may be a better description. “Our intention was to create an immersive, memorable and relationship-building experience with all consumers who come on board,” says Andrew Adams, marketing program manager at Sony Computer Entertainment America. And with two popular interactive Rock Band and SingStar stages situated at the entrance to the truck, the fun starts right away. This 10-foot by 10-foot Rock Band area replicates a live stage with Rock Band equipment, wall graphics, overhead truss and flat-panel LCD viewing for all to watch. In the SingStar area, attendees take their place onstage, belting out their best vocals against a backdrop of adoring fans. Further back in the LittleBigPlanet area, the experience becomes even more immersive as gamers sit on stools made of real cork and throw themselves into the game. Non-stop competition and cool prizes in addition to 20 PlayStation3 gaming stations keep everyone engaged (Agencies: Marketing Werks, Chicago; Craftsmen Industries, St. Charles, MO; Clark Walker Design, St. Louis, MO).
Simmons’ Showroom on Wheels, a 53- foot trailer filled with its new ComforPedic Loft line of mattresses, feels comfortable any way you look at it, from the inviting staircases at its four entrances to the cozy beds inside. Capitalizing on the loft theme, the center of the trailer features a graphics wrap simulating bricks and windows with a view of the New York City skyline. Three beds representing different models line up beneath the “windows” and conveniently roll on runners installed under each bed and fold up against the wall. Across from the beds a 46-inch LCD tv and sound system broadcasts welcoming messages and explains more about the company and products. Two more bedrooms, each with a full-size bed, are located in the rear of the trailer. A central, 18-foot punch out section adds depth—and a feeling of comfort—to the experience that Simmons is taking to retailers, sales meetings and its own employee base. “Our product line and the presentation are to die for,” says Scott Smalling, president of Simmons’ specialty bedding division. “And our dealers appreciate that we went to them.” Now that, and the 85 percent closure rate on sales of the new mattresses, must really help Smalling sleep at night (Agencies: InMotion Promotion, Columbus, OH; Design/Build: Creative Mobile Interiors, Columbus, OH).
The Titanic may have sunk 98 years ago but its spirit sailed on in a museum-like experience housed in two 53-foot double expandable trailers that replicated the massive nature of the ship and the solemn plight of its passengers. The Titanic: Treasures from the Deep national tour, sponsored by Country Financial, housed 50 authentic artifacts from the sunken ship, items like a hand mirror, blue enameled gold cuff links, the wrapper from a Gillette razor, an addressed envelope and a calling card, meticulously restored and displayed in plywood base cabinets. Just like artwork at the Louvre, the pieces were protected 24 hours a day with security guards, an alarm system and motion detectors. As visitors progressed through the museum’s seven galleries, moving from a photo op before the grand staircase down to the boiler room, the rooms grew eerily darker, recalling the ship’s sad fate. For Country Financial, sponsoring the tour offered the chance to ask visitors if they have a plan in place for the unexpected. “The authenticity is what makes this exhibit work,” said Doyle Williams, cmo at Country Financial (Design/Build: Craftsmen Industries, St. Charles, MO).
What better way to inspire higher education than by rolling out a campus university center on wheels? That’s how Texas A&M approached the subject, and we give the university an A for its effort to increase awareness among low-socioeconomic, firstgeneration college students on key steps to applying to college. The solution was the interactive Do You Wonder? tour bus, a 36-foot RV decked out like a typical student union center with kiosks to cover the main points: college placement tests, financial aid, college life, essay writing and the application process. Hitting 63 high schools throughout the state during last year’s spring semester, the bus engaged more than 10,000 students, 86 percent of whom requested more information about college entrance. “The Do You Wonder? bus enabled us to create a one-to-one dialogue concerning the importance of higher education with high school students and administrators throughout the state,” says Steve Moore, cmo at Texas A&M. “That conversation should inspire decisions that will positively affect the lives of these students and longer term, our state.” The only thing missing was the unmade bed and clothes on the floor like a typical college kid’s dorm room! (Agencies: La Experiencia, Dallas; Design/Build: Turtle Transit, Lancaster, MA.)
Nutrilite just may be the biggest vitamin and supplement brand that you’ve never heard of, and its interactive trailer is designed to change all that. “Most consumers have never heard of our brand, so we are trying to communicate the benefits of Nutrilite and tell our story,” says Steve Cherry, senior marketing specialist at Amway, which distributes the products. The 1,000 square feet of exhibit space inside the 53-foot trailer tells Nutrilite’s story efficiently with curved and lighted panels that divide the space and strategically installed speakers to keep traffic moving. Actor John Tesh (we love you, Teshie!) greets visitors on a 64-inch vertically mounted interactive screen as they move to a glass-enclosed plant display with an LCD screen and an interactive computer. Across from the plants, another monitor broadcasts product information above a 15-drawer cabinet that houses product samples. On the other side, a cylinder module features a vitamin display. The final interactive area explains how the vitamins are made as a monitor and light sequence helps explain the process (Design/Build: Creative Mobile Interiors, Columbus, OH). EM