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Super Bowl LVIII: How Paramount Took Over a Block of the Las Vegas Strip

“We had many conversations about what IP we were going to have and representation from across all the brands that didn’t feel like a trade show, but really like an experience. That was super important to be thoughtful about so the fans weren’t feeling like they were walking through a commercial.”

–Stephen Kipp, EVP-Events and Brand Experiences, Paramount

An in-depth look into the experiences and logistics of Paramount Mountain’s expansive footprint and virtual ride

PARAMOUNT peak installation_super bowl 58_AGENC_CS_1097With so many brands competing for fans’ attention on the ground during Super Bowl LVIII, Paramount stopped traffic with the biggest installation on the Las Vegas Strip. Paramount’s Expedition Vegas took over a block in front The Mirage with an expansive, content-driven activation open to the public, Feb. 8-11.

The experience’s centerpiece had locals and tourists doing a double take: The iconic, snow-tipped Paramount Mountain replaced the long-standing Mirage Volcano and could be seen from nearby hotels, walkways and passing cars. Not to mention the blue perimeter fencing covered in Paramount, CBS Sports and Super Bowl branding that secured the footprint and helped lure curious consumers.

Paramount’s Expedition Vegas was the most elaborate and interactive experience we visited ahead of Super Bowl LVIII. The four-day activation took participants on a journey through the brand’s movies and shows in five different themed vignettes—Base Camp, Chalet, Ridgeline, The Village and Paramount Station. The lines were long as fans waited their turn to access each of the branded outdoor games, activities and photo ops, as well as the standalone structures that housed experiences inside, all managed by mountain guides outfitted in blue Paramount ski attire.

super-bowl-lviii-featured-teaserMore Super Bowl LVIII Coverage:


PARAMOUNT cheerleaders_AGENC_CS_1152When consumers entered the experience through Base Camp, they encountered Paramount’s logo presented as an archway “Star Portal” they could pose under with the Paramount Mountain in the background. From there, cheerleaders representing universities from the Big Ten Conference hyped attendees up and led them into a CBS Sports football photo op highlighting all 14 schools’ logos in the backdrop.

MTV was represented with “The Challenge: Battle for a New Champion,” which put fans to the test sorting boxes onto shelves and unlocking lockers for a chance to win t-shirts, hats and a parka. Rounding out the sports-themed area was the UEFA Champions League soccer ball kick activity.

The brand brought its cozy slope-side Paramount+ The Lodge pop-up—which has traveled to ski resorts and festivals like SXSW over the past year—to Vegas (15|40 handled). It was incorporated into Expedition Vegas as a content chalet that included Nickelodeon characters and streaming shows such as “Halo” and “Star Trek: Discovery” (blue Vulcan salute foam fingers were a popular swag item sported by fans).

Nearby, a Victorian-era house for CBS’s “Ghosts” invited believers to step into a booth and speak with a ghost by yellow rotary phone, which then took their photo, inserting one of the show’s ghostly characters into the background. Outside, a CBS Sports “We Need to Talk” photo op was perfectly positioned in front of Paramount Mountain, calling attention to “women who moved mountains in sports.”

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The Ridgeline area promoted “Survivor” with an outdoor space full of challenges inspired by the long-running reality competition series (designed by John Kirhoffer, who creates the challenges for the show and was on-site running the scaled-down versions for fans). The “Fire Country” karaoke bar drew confident singers who could be heard singing classics like “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” from the base of Paramount Mountain to its peak.

PARAMOUNT Mountain_ BET sisters spa_AGENC_CS_1633The Village hosted several popular activations, particularly two related to the “Yellowstone” franchise. In the “1923” Silver Dollar Soda Shop, fans donned cowboy hats and scarves for an old-timey, sepia photo op at the bar, and outside, they could hold up Prohibition-era signage, such as “Alcohol is poison.” The longest line we encountered was to get custom “Yellowstone”-branded can coolers monogrammed by a laser engraver and then proudly display the leather-looking swag in front of a barn emblazoned with the show’s signature “Y” logo surrounded by hay and horse saddles.

Next door, the wintery “South Park” photo op had fans mix in with life-size character displays, while the fresh-scented, highly sought-after BET’s “Sistas” Spa, offered attendees massages, cocktails, a flower-bordered swing photo location and a soothing space to relax. The music-themed “Bob Marley: One Love” cabin featured four multimedia “footprints” that participants stepped on to listen to audio emanating from a cone above or watch scenes from the film on TVs. Two Pluto TV vending machines distributed free swag to promote the free streaming service.



PARAMOUNT 4d ride_super bowl 58_AGENC_CS_1607Lastly, at Paramount Station, attendees had the chance to virtually summit the mountain through an immersive “Adventure to the Peak” experience, where they boarded one of five gondolas for a 4D-simulated snowy ascent, narrated by CBS Sports commentators Tony Romo and Jim Nantz, and featuring Paramount characters along the ride.

The video journey included locations and Easter eggs for fans of Paramount shows and movies, like “Transformers’” Bumblebee hanging from a parallel cable car line, “South Park” characters tripping over their skis, the Nickelodeon blimp, and an exploration of Bikini Bottom from “SpongeBob SquarePants,” the eerie “Yellowjackets” forest, plus a view of Allegiant Stadium.

“We worked with our creative and strategy team from inside of Paramount and with a CBS VFX team to put together the video portion,” Stephen Kipp, evp-events and brand experiences at Paramount, told EM during a tour of Expedition Vegas. “To make it feel like you’re going up Paramount Mountain, the physical part of it included elements like movement, a little bit of wind and heat that comes through.”

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A year ago, the Paramount team arrived in Las Vegas fresh off of Super Bowl LVII in Arizona, ready to conduct a site survey across the entire company, as it would be the first time in NFL history that the Big Game would be broadcast in two different formats. CBS carried the traditional broadcast of the game (also streamed via Paramount+), and Nickelodeon aired a kids- and family-friendly telecast.

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While CBS Sports was stationed in front of the Bellagio, the Paramount team wanted to create a fan experience that united all of its flagship content under one footprint rather than spread out up and down Las Vegas Boulevard. The brand was challenged to create its signature mountain, leading to the selection of The Mirage Volcano, which gave the team a starting point to build the realistic-looking scene and block-long activation around, right in the hotel’s front yard and “platformed” over its lake.

“We had many conversations about what IP we were going to have and representation from across all the brands that didn’t feel like a trade show, but really like an experience,” Kipp said. “That was super important to be thoughtful about so the fans weren’t feeling like they were walking through a commercial.”



PARAMOUNT photo op super bowl 58_AGENC_CS_2526The evening before Expedition Vegas opened to the public, Paramount hosted an exclusive “Sneak Peak Happy Hour and Welcome Ceremony” for media, influencers and talent, including “The Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan and “CBS Mornings” anchors Gayle King and Tony Dokoupil. Guests enjoyed an advance look at the interactive fan experience, entertainment, light bites and cocktails.

Aiming to host more than 10,000 fans in the activation over the weekend, Paramount exceeded its attendee goals, drawing more fans than expected—a mix of preregistered participants and passersby who wanted to get in on the action. Beyond engaging fans, the brand used Paramount Mountain as a media base camp, filming drone shots and promos that were worked into live CBS Sports shows, CBS News programs and Super Bowl game coverage.

“I think that reinforcing that brand love and the love that people have for the individual shows and IP is really what we’re hoping to get out of it,” Kipp said. “And then really what we wanted to do is maximize on the Super Bowl of it all. Everyone’s like, ‘This is the Super Bowl,’ so let’s go all out and show everybody what Paramount is and everything that exists within this. There’s been a lot of earned media that we’ve been getting from people posting on social and such a great fan turnout, too.” Agencies: AGENC, experiential; PR DEPT, p.r.; 15|40, The Lodge.


More Scenes from Paramount Mountain:

Photo credit: Scott Clark Photography

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