Happy Birthday, World of Coca-Cola!

May 28, 2012

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The World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place - Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog today to raise a contour bottle in honor of The World of Coca-Cola, which last week celebrated five years at its Pemberton Place, Atlanta location. Per the company's celebrated ad campaign, The World of Coca-Cola has “opened happiness” for over 5.3 million visitors from around the globe. According to BusinessWire, the attraction has welcomed guests from six continents, over 75 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

The World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place is the only place where visitors can explore the complete story—past, present and future—of the world's best-known brand. JRA is proud to have worked with The Coca-Cola Company to design and produce the guest experience for this re-envisioned Atlanta attraction.

With 62,000 square feet of guest area, the World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place has something for everyone, including a variety of interactive exhibits, a thrilling 4D Theater, the world's largest collection of Coca-Cola® memorabilia, a fully functioning bottling line that produces commemorative 8-ounce bottles of Coca-Cola®, a Pop Culture Gallery featuring works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and Steve Penley, and a unique tasting experience allowing guests the opportunity to sample up to 70 different products from around the world.

Jack Rouse Associates provided the overall creative direction for the project, including planning, design and coordination of a team of vendors that included world-class animators, filmmakers and exhibit builders.

Every aspect of the World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place’s design, construction and operation was carefully planned to reflect The Coca-Cola Company's commitment to environmental and energy issues. The building was constructed in accordance with the United States Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and incorporates the latest advances in environmentally-friendly construction and design.

“The New World of Coca-Cola would not exist today without the talent, skill, hard work and dedication of our amazing creative partners,” said Craig Lovin, Creative Director of The World of Coca-Cola. “I look back fondly on the time we spent [on the project]…and the outcome continues to be a source of pride.”

It certainly has been and will continue to be a source of pride for Jack Rouse Associates, and we wish The Coca-Cola Company and all those who worked on the project many more years of creating and enjoying happiness.

Next week, Shawn McCoy returns to share with our readers more of the Value of Experiential Design. Thanks for reading!


Tags: Project Spotlight

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The Value of Experiential Design: Saving Lives

May 24, 2012

In last week’s blog, we looked at how the United States Army employed experiential design techniques within the controversial “Army Experience” recruiting station. The Army currently has another experiential program, however, that is being applauded for its role in helping to reduce soldier casualties at the hands of roadside bombs.

The Navy also uses experiential design in its training and hired a number of theme park designers to create a variety of immersive experiences called Battlestations 21. Sailors board a recreated destroyer and undergo a 12-hour experience, where they have to respond to several simulated emergency situations, such as electrical fires, a terrorist attack with casualties, and a torpedo hit, complete with flooding. This is the last test for recruits, which they must pass in order to graduate basic training.

Finally, the Los Angeles County Fire department used the same company that provides a lot of the special effects for theme parks to develop a highway disaster training grounds. Set upon a recreated highway, firemen encounter fires, simulated chemical spills, and surprises such as exploding tires and even exploding gas tanks. While the firemen are in no real danger, these simulations still get the adrenalin flowing and help them to learn how to assess and respond under pressure to real situations.

These examples illustrate that experiential design has become an important part of training programs where it is critical to realistically re-create high-pressure situations.

But you don’t have to be a soldier or firefighter to enjoy the positive aspects of learning within an experiential environment. Experiential design is also having an impact on informal education, which we’ll explore in next week’s blog.


Tags: Blog N Learn , business

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The Value of Experiential Design: New Recruits

May 17, 2012

Experiential design can be used not only by corporations to attract new customers, but has also been used by firms and the military as a recruiting tool. One controversial example is the United States Army’s use of experiential design within the “Army Experience,” a temporary attraction located at a mall outside of Philadelphia. Hoping to attract future recruits, the attraction was designed to appeal to the video game generation and invited teens to interact with a variety of kiosks to get more information on job opportunities, salaries, educational benefits and base locations around the world.  They could also play a number of combat-related video games or step into a variety of role-playing areas, where they could act out mock missions aboard full-size humvees and two full-scale helicopter simulators. Recruiters were dressed in casual, civilian clothing in order to seem more approachable.

The $12 million-dollar center attracted tens of thousands of guests during its two-year run, but also came under considerable criticism for what was perceived as equating real war with video games.

Next week we’ll explore another use of experiential design by the U.S. Army – one that is been applauded for its role in helping to reduce soldier casualties as the hands of road-side bombs.

Tags: Blog N Learn , business

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The Value of Experiential Design: "That's PR You Can't Buy"

May 09, 2012

Around the world, major corporations are not only creating free experiential events such as the live Angry Birds event in Barcelona, they are also creating exciting destinations where customers will actually PAY to experience their brands.

Volkswagen AG believed in this philosophy and hired JRA and a number of other architects and designers to create their own branded destination. Spread over 40 acres across from the company’s manufacturing plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, the resultant Autostadt theme park features a unique way for customers to pick up their purchased vehicles, along with several history museums, an interactive science center, a variety of restaurants and retail and a Ritz-Carlton hotel – all set within a beautifully landscaped park featuring stunning architecture.

The results of Volkswagen’s $500 million dollar investment? Attracting over 2 million people per year, Autostadt has turned the small city of Wolfsburg into one of Germany’s top destinations and has spurred the development of a number of other attractions. Perhaps even more indicative of the success of the project is how the local community has embraced the development – treating it like a town square that hosts a number of events (such as this temporary toboggan run), festivals and even a number of weddings each year. That's PR that you can’t buy.

Most importantly, VW believes that Autostadt has helped them create customers for life. Even if this is only a fraction of the 2 million guests per year, think of the financial value of that proposition.

Examples such as Volkswagen’s Autostadt illustrate the marketing value that experientially designed venues provide corporations.

But forward thinking firms also use experiential design to attract the best and brightest employees, a subject we’ll explore in next week’s blog.

Tags: Blog N Learn , business

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The Value of Experiential Design: Differentiation and Cutting Through the Clutter

May 03, 2012

Ski Dubai helped The Mall of the Emirates differentiate itself from the competition.

Ski Dubai helped The Mall of the Emirates differentiate itself from the competition.

As we discussed in our previous posts, the value of experiential design can be purely economic, or it can also provide marketing, social, cultural or educational value. Let’s take a look at a few examples at how experiential design can aid in product differentiation and in cutting through the clutter of marketing messages.

Marketing Value: Differentiating from Competitors

Sometimes experiential design is used to simply differentiate an offering from the competitive landscape.

For those of you who might have been to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, you know that there seems to be a massive, high-end mall on each street corner. All of them are exquisitely designed with the best materials and feature all of the top luxury brands, from Gucci to Prada, Louis Vuitton and on and on.

The problem is, after a while, they all look the same, so what might make a millionaire Emirati choose one mall over the next?

The Mall of the Emirates chose experiential design as a way to differentiate itself from the competition. With the opening of Ski Dubai, a 225,000-square-foot indoor ski resort in November of 2005, not only could shoppers pick up the latest handbag, but they could also go for quick run on one of the resort’s five slopes, including the world’s first indoor black diamond. There’s also snowboarding, a toboggan run, a snowball shooting gallery and a place to make snowmen. And since Dubai is located in the desert, all winter clothing, ski and snowboard equipment is available to rent.

If you don’t want to venture in the cold, you can sit and relax in the adjacent lodge and sip a hot cocoa. However, if you want one of the prime window seats overlooking the resort, it’ll cost you, as there is a minimum purchase requirement.

Because of the popularity of Ski Dubai, while the Mall of the Emirates is pretty similar to all of the other malls in Dubai and features all of the same retail stores, it has now become one of Dubai’s premiere shopping destinations.

Marketing Value: Cutting Through the Clutter

It is estimated that consumers are bombarded by over 5,000 marketing messages everyday – from television ads, ads on the radio, billboards, internet pop-ups, mailers and so on. To say it is a crowded and cluttered environment is an understatement.

More and more corporations have found that experiential design allows them to cut through that clutter and customers in a memorable way.

How many of you have played Angry Birds?

For those of you who haven’t, it’s an extremely popular video game in which you launch a variety of birds from a slingshot and try to knock down evil pigs hiding within various structures. It’s become a worldwide phenomenon, as it’s so addictive, and you can’t get the theme song out of your head.

Well T-Mobile, had kind of a similar idea last year in Barcelona, where they created an innovative event to promote their various smart phones.  Have a look.

Innovative. Surprising. Interactive. Story-based. Unique environment. Multi-sensory. All of the components of experiential design.

They not only provided passersby with a great time, but they also provided T-Mobile with off-the-charts PR value around Europe and throughout the world through YouTube (with over 12 million views).

We hope you've enjoyed this look at how experiential design can help you set your product above the rest and cut through the jungle of marketing messages.  Next week, we'll discuss how one of the world's leading auto producers used experiential design to position itself not just as a car maker, but as a company that has enjoyed a fascinating history and a profound impact on world culture.


Tags: Blog N Learn , business

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