Google Shopping

We got a chance to build outside the billboard box with Google Shopping.

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During the 2021 holiday season, ‘Shop like you search’ with Google was brought to life with two experiential billboards as part of the “Shop with Google” campaign in NYC. This project was a two-area experiential marketing campaign by Google and City Eventions.

The Factory NYC utilized 3D printing technology to craft an enormous stroll-stopping set of headphones placed on the street-level billboard of a busy New York City sidewalk. Guided by floor markers, pedestrians were invited to step between the earbuds for a photo that initiated a festive holiday tune from speakers embedded within the headphones.

An additional, fully functional, 3D Printed oversized replica of a Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 camera was also placed on a separate billboard in SoHo. With the help of an on-site operator, lucky pedestrians were able to get camera-ready, snap a picture, and walk away with a physical memento of the moment.

Case Study Q&A: Josh Newman, Account Manager

Q: Were there any challenges with the technical process of this project?

A:  For the headphones specifically. We had a laser shine across to a mirror and it bounced back, and if you cut that beam, it played music. It also needed to be battery operated, and we figured out how much battery charge we would need for one song playing so we could play 50 songs in an hour. If you don’t have the perfect alignment over the five feet distance it keeps on triggering constantly and draining the battery.  we got a call after the first day ‘Battery’s dead.’ We found that our system worked perfectly here in the shop without wind but it didn’t work out in the field, so we ultimately scrapped the laser and went with a sonic distance sensor.

Q: Can you explain how the camera was able to take photos?

A: The camera had an iPad display that was hooked up to a very special printer that printed out things that were much like Polaroids but didn’t have the internal film. It was an on-demand printer that would need to be plugged in which we were able to do. 

Q: Could you describe the experience of installing, not one, but two 3D-printed objects onto different boards in New York City? Did any challenges arise during this process?

A: So it was two different sites. One was in Manhattan, Soho, and one was in deep Bushwick. Manhattan was at night.  Brooklyn was the next day. The one in Manhattan was fairly straightforward. We chatted with both the producer and the person who held the ownership of the sign and the building itself. we had to make sure that we could anchor this to that wall and get power to it and we needed to make sure it was in concert with the billboard company as well. So in both cases, we had to be there first to get our anchors on the wall. Then they had to go in and put their vinyl banner and then we had to cut very, very small holes in this and anchor our pieces on top. So that was a bit of a dance to make sure we had the right standoffs that could be adjustable. It was a little tricky, but we got it.

Q: How did you know the project was successful in the eyes of the public? How did that make you feel?

A: Manhattan had hundreds if not more people every single day. It was well received; people loved it. It was great to have someone from our client’s team on location, in this case, there because then somebody knows that this is an actual thing. And they’d be like, ‘Hey, do you want a picture out of this beautiful thing, and people beget people, especially on nice days. So that one had a huge response from people. 

Photos courtesy of City Eventions.