April 2012 /// Center548 /// NYC
Digital. Digital. Digital. This was Bravo's 2012 Upfront, packaged with the tagline 'Powered by Bravo.'
Starting with a LED-rave-tripping freight elevator ride, guests dove into a multi-level space, populated with food, drink, comfort, action, and a live-taping of Bravo's 'Watch What Happens Live!'. Crisscrossing conduit pipes ran overhead, descending into color blocked lounge vignettes themed in Bravo's 'Passion Colors.'
A mosaic of digital devices showcased Bravo content and apps, while a sculptural collage of projection-mapped talk bubbles exploded to life in both presentation content, and live video-dj'ing during the dance party. Instagrams tagged with #PoweredByBravo were printed on-site, while tweets of the same hashtag were projected onto the walls of the venue.
April 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 /// Jazz @ Lincoln Center /// NYC
Celebrating the magazine's annual issue of the same name, The Time 100 Gala invites the "100 Most Influential People in the World", and past honorees, to a decadent evening in New York City. An amalgamation of toasts, speeches, comedy, music, and on-the-pulse hob-nobbing, the event welcomes and attracts a diverse, distinguished, and often Secret Service protected crowd.
Traditionally sparse decor, including column wraps and gobo projections, was bolstered in 2012 where the cocktail-enjoying atrium was wrapped in a white muslin photo wall, highlighted by a glowing edge molding. A portion of this span was removed during the program, so guests returned to the space to find an inviting lounge and DJ platform for the on-site afterparty.
December 2012 /// The 69th Regiment Armory /// NYC
Since 2006, charity: water has been making waves in the NFP community for both their 100% donations to projects model, as well as their charity: ball ticket price geared towards the everyman rather than just the uber rich. This model has raised funds to fund over 8,000 water projects in Africa, delivering clean drinking water to nearly 3.2 million people.
charity:ball 2012 featured an innovative (or can-we-pull-this-off) 'donation zones' system, where guests would step into increasing pledge levels, resulting in their pledge and name instantly appearing on the projection screens encircling the massive armory space. This live-data tracking was enabled by each guest wearing a pre-registered RFID wristbands with their name and credit card information stored inside. With over $3 million raised, the technique and technology were a historic success.
A 60' net structure was flown where guests could purchase and release $5 yellow balloons that aggregated to become a giant charity water logo by the end of the night. Additional infographic-laden installations included a lifesize 'Yellow Thunder' drilling rig, a PVC pipe labyrinth highlighting CW's gravity systems in Rwanda, and a birthday donors canopy featuring the photos and names of individuals who have raised money by pledging their birthdays for donations instead of receiving presents.
November 2011 /// Stephan Weiss Studio /// NYC
For their first-ever US press event, Spotify debuted their new "apps" services, welcoming partners from RollingStone, the Guardian, and more. Live-streamed in Sweden and the UK, the event featured a massive projection screen above a clean, gloss-white stage. The stark design was accented by Spotify's quirky, illustrated characters, flanking the main stage and peppered throughout the venue.
After remarks, and an intimate performance by the then yet-to-pop band Fun, guests were invited to engage in the demo stations around the room, getting hands-on interaction with the 10 featured apps, launched online that day.
October 2012 /// TriBeCa /// NYC
Foodies love eating even more than they love Top Chef. Its only natural to combine the brand with the gastronomical experience. Opening a fully-functional restaurant in just 10 weeks is a more daunting task.
We found a restaurant that we could gut; a staff we could train; architects to actualize design; contractors to fast track permits; and builders to pull the concept into reality. Using the Top Chef brand guidelines as the diving platform, we orchestrated an open kitchen space with lofty ceilings, custom furniture, and glossy orange accents throughout the restaurant.
For 6 weeks, we ran the Top Chef Kitchen in TriBeCa, featuring a rotating menu prepared by TC's 'Bravolebrity' chefs, who popped out of the kitchen each night to schmooze with guests. Tickets, sold through opentable.com, sold out in just 45 minutes, leaving us wondering if we priced it too low, or just successfully, maybe primaly, tapped into the Top Chef fan base.
October 2012 /// espace /// NYC
To unveil their US-available, Windows 8 lineup, ASUS took over epsace in Hell's Kitchen for an intimate press event. Magic by techno-illusionist Marco Tempest complemented excited remarks from Chairman Johnny Shih, who debuted ASUS' newest tablets, laptops and touchscreen desktops.
Delicately optimizing a concept-incongruous venue, we built a site-specific, light-edged stage dominated by a 30' LED wall. Flanking the stage, twin ASUS logos were flown, glowing with internal blue LEDs. Transitioning to the hands-on portion of the event, the presentation climaxed with a kabuki drop revealing white, runner tables populated with fully-operable ASUS products.
Amid the clink of champagne flutes, the press deep-dove with devices, Johnny Shih sidelined for interviews, and the internet began to buzz with ASUS products and pricing.
July 2012 /// The Metropolitan Pavilion /// NYC
Bravo's 'Around the World in 80 Plates'
1 part Top Chef
1 dash Amazing Race
1 pinch Innovative Finale Event
Colliding the globe-trotting with the mouth-watering, Bravo hosted a private 'Around the World in 80 Plates' finale party. Through an innovative concept that won the business, we showcased 9 countries, their cuisines and a medley of cultures, all delivered atop 3 rotating, turntable stages.
Each stage featured 3 countries, designed with props, backdrops, furniture, floor coverings and most importantly, culturally specific food offerings. As guests palates were transported from pungent French cheeses to Moroccan beef cigars, live entertainment filled the room with Flamenco guitars, Brazilian carnivale dancers, Indian sitar players, and even a Chinese dragon.
Guests could also test their cultural knowledge at either the Guess'N'Flip game, where iconic city scenes rotated to reveal their locale, or the Name the Ingredient game, where blindfolded guests could taste and guess mystery food items. Guests also left with a postcard set featuring each city from the show, with the same custom stamps and photo motif dotting the entry stairwell.
May 2012 /// Highline Ballroom /// NYC
If nothing else, 'Fun' was what MTV Tr3s wanted their 2012 Upfront to be about. Kicking off as a 'Latin Street Fair', we sought to create an environment that would feel native in any latin culture, from Buenos Aires to the Bronx.
Taking over the Highline Ballroom, a traditional NYC concert venue, we constructed scenic installations over the existing VIP booths. The first became a Colombian party bus complete with a truck grille, tire, rearview mirror and working headlight. The other, topped with corrugated metal roofing, was transformed into a taqueria, serving up build-your-own tacos for guests.
Under a canopy of bistro lights, guests segued from the comedic to the content to the concert, featuring the swoon-inducing Juanés, and then on to the dance party, where advertisers and time-slot sellers conjoined in 12am conga lines.
November 2009 /// Stephan Weiss Studio, NYC
December 2009 /// Saatchi Gallery, London
To celebrate the release of his 'Power of the Invisible Sun' photography book, Bobby Sager hosted a private party to raise donations for his 'Hope is a Game-Changer Project.' Behind the titles, was the mission to bring indestructible, and iconically yellow, plastic soccer balls to impoverished villages across Africa.
Designed to streamline expenses and showcase Sager's photography, the event tapped stark gallery spaces where the white walls could be soaked in looping canvases of children from across the continent. Stark displays were created with physical prints mounted to fabric-wrapped walls, and cocktail bars were emboldened with the word 'Hope' stretched across their facades.
As the book's title borrows from The Police's 'Invisible Sun,' Sager tapped friend and fellow globe-trotter Sting to perform an intimate, acoustic set. Interspersed with passionate remarks from Sager and Trudie Styler, the program wound down with guests diligently filing up to each make a charitable donation.
Then we packed up the whole event, and did it again, two weeks later, in London.
82 Mercer /// NYC
Roosevelt Hotel /// LA
Girl & the Goat /// CHI
2011 saw the Upfront market shift again with the first-ever, multi-city Upfront event. Connecting events in NYC, LA and Chicago live, each event featured interviews with cast members and Bravolebrities, that were interspersed with commercial breaks during the national broadcast of the Top Chef season finale.
The flagship event, in NYC, took over SoHo's multi-room 82 Mercer space, dividing the floor into a press walk, a lounge, and a dining room. The lounge featured Passion Point color-blocked clusters, complemented by illuminated divider walls with Bravo graphics and icons, while the dining room hosted columns of communal tables, designed in the Top Chef style guide of bold orange and silver. After dinner, guests were entertained by a live taping of Andy Cohen's 'Watch What Happens Live!', shot on an intimate set directly in front of the seated guests.
In Los Angeles, Bravo took over the historic Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. Here Housewives from 'Orange County' and 'Beverly Hills' joined ad buyers and executives for a dinner in the acclaimed Public Kitchen. After the finale, guests were invited upstairs for bowling and libations at The Spare Room, where the venues lightbulbs had all been swapped for bulbs in saturatred Bravo colors.
Chicago's event, the smallest of the 3 markets, was hosted at previous Top Chef winner, Stepanie Izard's restaurant, Girl & the Goat. A small viewing party attending, including the full cast of 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta', and were treated to a dinner prepared by Izard.
October 2010 /// Lavo /// NYC
While Oxygen's 'Running Russell Simmons' only lasted 6 episodes, those fortunate enough to attend the show's kick-off party left with memories of hip hop history.
Taking over the NYC hotspot LAVO, we worked to bring in aspects of both Russell's style and Oxygen's style guide, including a argyle-printed green carpet and Oxygen 'O' bubbles projected on the sidewalk and surrounding the entry stairs. Complementing the decor-heavy club, were green shadowboxes with live dancers, LED animations surrounding plasma screen content, a custom painting of Russell, and a live twitter stream from guests in the party.
For the entertainment, DJ Cassidy spun Dej Jam hits and welcomed Run DMC's Rev Run and Pepa of Salt-N-Pepa's to stage for crowd-rocking MC sets.
June 2011 /// The Wynn & Encore Resort /// Las Vegas
Karaoke. Strippers. No Regrets.
For her 50th Birthday celebration, our client wanted to immerse her friends in her favorite things, and Las Vegas is the perfect place to find all three.
With a guest list arriving on private jets, we worked to ensure that all aspects of the weekend would be streamlined and simplified, including custom resort maps, daily activities menus, and surprise photo albums from the weekend snuck under hotel room doors on the last morning in town.
In addition to an intimate dinner at Lakeside and VIP table at the XS nightclub, the main event was a 2am affair with dinner, dancing, cover band concert, and the requisite cigar and whiskey bar. Among the tufted banquets and feather-touched florals, activity side rooms included karaoke, airbrush tattoos, and strip tease lounge.
September 2011 /// New York Public Library /// NYC
Every year, after his remarks at the United Nations, President Obama invites the UN General Assembly to a reception for brief remarks and photo opp. In 2011, the New York Public Library hosted the evening, welcoming guests to light fare in the Celeste Bartos Forum and an intimate speech in Astor Hall.
May 2012 /// 82 Mercer, NYC
June 2011, 2010 /// Metropolitan Pavilion, NYC
Each year, this crowd-sourced, all-things-internet festival descends on NY, helmed by a centralized HQ space. Dedicated to headline keynotes, panel discussions, and classroom breakouts, the HQ hosts a smattering of sponsor activations for internet heavyweights (Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!) and startups (Makerbots, Postano, BrightBox). These activations are managed according event guidelines to deter the "tradeshow" feel as much as possible.
With a food court stuffed with AsiaDogs and Panade Puffs and a sometimes-slept-in lounge curated by Design Within Reach, the HQ sees a steady flow of attendees throughout the week-long event. The HQ turns over nightly for opening, closing and sponsor parties, combining the internet, alcohol, and live music into dancefloor-inevitable evenings.
January 2012 /// Manhattan & Brooklyn /// NYC
Debuting their foray into the wearable-technology marketplace, Nike sought to make an impression not on the public directly, but on Influencers who's excitement regarding the Nike Fuel wristband would generate sales. The challenge was in impressing these individuals, and so the event was designed to be original, exclusive, and most importantly, active.
After a short press event introducing the product, guests strapped on the Fuel bands and were taken to a series of different activities. These included tennis at Grand Central, weight-training with the Bartendaz, and flipping pizza at Roberta's in Brooklyn. The event delivered unique experiences for a select number of participants, who, naturally, went home with head-to-toe Nike gear and the Fuel band, about which to tweet and 'like' at their leisure.
September 2012 /// Cedar Lake /// NYC
At an intimate 'Unlock Your Beauty' press event, L'Oreal showcased their new Advanced Haircare line by creating a series of 'vaults' representing each of the 5 new products.
Each vault's curtain revealed a conceptually stylized space featuring live models performing short 2-3min routines. Each performance was evocative of a hair care product, where a model lifting dumbbells and anvils with her hair was staged for the 'strengthening' product and a suspended aerialist swam in a giant fish tank was representative of the 'hydrating' product.
After the 5 mini-performances, brief remarks from L'Oreal executives were followed by the reveal of the actual product. Guest were then invited to deep-dive with the product specialists and consult famed hair technicians on specific hair problems and L'Oreal solutions.
May 2011, 2010 /// Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center /// NYC
Each year the Film Society of Lincoln Center honors an established film actor or director with the Chaplin Award. The gala features a brief cocktail reception, seated dinner, theater program, and after party. Recently, FSLC has honored Sidney Poitier and Michael Douglas with the prestigious award.
May 2011 /// American Museum of Natural History /// NYC
For their 2011 Upfront, Telemundo wanted to go wider than cultural; larger than national; bigger than global. They wanted to go universal. With this astral theme in mind, the American Museum of Natural History was a natural fit for the host venue.
Indoctrinating guests to the theme, the save the date was a digital countdown clock widget that attendees could install on their Facebook pages while the invitation was a futuristic boarding pass for the Telemundo shuttle departure. Upon arrival, guests were greeted by space-suited staff, locating their reservations on ipads and distributing customized name tags. Once inside the theater, guests saw the countdown clock expire and the massive IMAX screen explode into with a wormhole of color and a light, only to arrive at planet Telemundo.
After the program, guests traversed and LED-lit, tension-fabric tunnel which functioned both as decor and roomshield for off-theme egyptian artifacts. At tunnel's end, ad-buyers and reps emerged into the Cullman Hall of the Universe, which was accented with bars, foodstations, lounge seating, infinity-mirror-topped cafe tables, a small stage, and a DJ platform.
December 2012 /// Cedar Lake /// NYC
The #Spotify hashtag blew up during their 2012 press event, thanks to a combination of rich visuals, live music, and a moment in internet music history.
The white-gloss curved stage was mirrored by a 28' curved LED screen, flanked on each side by 4 standalone 9' LED panels. Video content was simultaneously wrapped over these screens, creating dynamic video arrangements, a keynote graphics canvas, and immersive digital wallpaper.
With top-of-the-hot Spotify's taste at stake, they delivered 3 headline acts, Vampire Weekend, Janelle Monáe, and Frank Ocean, who played on a combination of traditional and in-the-round stages. During the afterparty masked-Brit DJ SBTRKT spun while lounge furniture was set and libations were served.
The most-tweeted moment however was when Napster co-founder Sean Parker was reunited with Napster-shutter-downer Lars Ulrich of Metallica. The two hugged and buried the file-sharing hatchet from their 2000 feud, now that artists are finally getting paid.
March 2010 /// Skylight SoHo /// NYC
Eager to break from the Upfront formula for their first foray into the ad sales event space, Bravo focused on showcasing content not through speeches and sizzle reels, but rather through experiences.
Taking over the large floor of Skylight SoHo, Bravo divided the venue into the rooms of a conceptual Bravo House. Each room was representative of a specific Bravo show, but also their brand 'Passion Points': Food, Fashion, Beauty, Design, and Pop.
Food naturally became the kitchen, were guests had light plates prepared fresh (Top Chef). Fashion was represented by the Closet where guests were treated to dress in an assortment of clothes, shoes and accessories, then have their photo taken, fully gussied (Project Runway). Beauty became a hair Salon where guests sat for on-the-fly hair stylings (Tabitha's Salon). Design was the Living Room, where contemporary lounges and bars were set (Nine by Design). Pop was the Home Theater, playing highlight reels from current and upcoming Bravo shows (The Real Housewives)
Taking the experience even further, stars from Bravo's shows were on-site to sit with guests for truly personal experiences. In the Rec Room, Patti Stanger doled out relationship advice (Millionaire Matchmaker) and Andy Cohen (Watch What Happens Live!) interviewed guests on camera, creating content for Bravo's website.
March 2009 /// Times Square /// NYC
To complement their "Touch the Future" billboard and bus-wrap ad barrage in NYC, HP staged a weekend-long Time Square stunt that showcased the blazing functionality of their touch screen technology, through a conversely analog medium.
Assembling on Duffy Square for 3 shows each day, HP-uniformed dancers held an array of placards representing a laptop or tablet screen. Below more performers moved with an 8', HP white glove logo, which upon poking the screen, would trigger the panels to rotate, revealing the next screen and associated info graphics.
To enliven the crowd beyond the strict sell, gymnasts and contortionists hula hooped, sky-booted, breakdanced, and even mimicked the iconic Rockettes high-kicking line. Spreading out in the surrounding sidewalks, small teams armed with HP Touchsmart tablets one-on-one'd with pedestrians, showcasing the technology and pricing.
November 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 /// Cipriani Wall Street /// NYC
Hosted annually by the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the Gotham Awards kick-off the Hollywood awards season with New York's perspective on Best of's and Talent to Watch.
Ironically (for an organization built on Indie film) held at Cipriani Wall Street, the Gothams attract a passionate crowd of producers, actors, directors, screenwriters, and film companies. Hosted by a changing guard of comedians and actors, the awards focus on rewarding new talent, from star-bound actors to household-name-next-year directors.
November 2010 /// Skylight SoHo /// NYC
Launching their fashion-purchase-aggregator website Boutiques.com (RIP), Google held a party for industry leaders and fashion bloggers to immerse guests in the different fashion themes of the site: Boho, Romantic, Classic, Edgy, Casual, and Street. Each theme was expressed through lounge decor, speciality cocktails and hors d'oeuvres , and activities including tarot card readers and laser graffiti.
Models were lined up long the main hallway as living mannequins, showcasing fashion looks by on-site designers, who would restyle their models several times throughout the evening. The dancefloor and DJ booth were encircled by VIP banquettes, providing the fashionable celebrity guests an area to relax and socialize throughout the festivities.
December 2007 /// Empire State Building, Bryant Park /// NYC
The Simpsons took New York City by storm in conjunction with the DVD release of their first-in-20-years feature film. The center of the action was at Bryant Park, where the ice skating rink was Simpson-ized with branded placards, a wash of yellow lights over the ice, and an hourly 'Simpsons on Ice' performance complete with a choir singing Simpson carols. As guests were treated to free skating, courtesy of 20th Century Fox, the Bryant Park Christmas tree was adorned with pink donuts and topped with an inflatable Spiderpig.
Completing the NYC takeover, the Empire State Building hosted a Lighting Ceremony where Homer Simpson pulled the switch to bathe the iconic building in yellow light. (Strangely enough, this was the first time the ESB had ever changed its lighting for a private company, which now has become quite commonplace) The ESB also hosted a small party on a horizon-viewing floor, adorned with donut-shaped mylar balloons, where Fox execs networked and cut Simpsons cake.
November 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007 /// Hammerstein Ballroom /// NYC
Keep A Child Alive hosts a star-studded, one-night-only concert gala experience to raise funds to battle children's AIDS in Africa. Hosted by the vivacious Alicia Keys, the concert attracts a host of diverse and influential musicians including Bono, Jay Z, Adele and David Bowie. The theme and corresponding decor evolve yearly, including 'Buy Life', 'Dreams', and 'Discover India', but the message remains the same: With your help, we can save lives.
March 2012 /// Manhattan, NYC
A small fleet of Bravo taxi cabs dispersed throughout NYC to promote Jeff Lewis' newest show 'Interior Therapy.' Offering free rides to New Yorkers and tourists, each cab was designed in one of five themes: Bohemian, 60s Mod, Glam, Ski Lodge, and Moroccan.
Customizing the all-too-small interiors of the Ford Escape was a challenge, but we worked to find creative ways to install door-to-door decor while keeping the cabs street legal. With hanging lights, real stone work, tin ceilings and leather seats, each cab was transformed into an interior space, stripping away as many vehicular touchstones as possible. For the exteriors, the cabs were wrapped in vinyl clings in thematic, eye-catching patterns, complete with tune-in information and a "This Ride is Free" light on top.
May 2012 /// Hammerstein Ballroom /// NYC
June 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 /// Cipriani Wall Street /// NYC
"The Oscars of the Internet" has grown from its San Francisco circa 1996 roots to being livestreamed globally every year from New York City. The event celebrates everything digital, and to deal with the sheer volume of the awards, has become famous for the forced brevity of their '5 Word Acceptance Speeches.'
An amalgamation of social media, smartphone games, indie music, and quickly-expiring memes, the awards stay true to the independence and horizontal ubiquity of the internet, while attracting some esteemed or simply established celebrities in the process.
November 2010 /// The Hospital Club /// London
Taking the success of IWNY across the pond, London was the first host for Internet Week Europe. A much smaller affair for its first foray, serving as a kick-off event rather than an HQ, IWE was held at Covent Garden's Hospital Club. The basement TV Studio was set for a livestreamed debate regarding the merits and impediments of paywalls. The Gallery was set for a pre-&-post cocktail reception, while the upstairs bar hosted the afterparty for sponsors and web entrepreneurs.
September 2011 /// SF Design Center /// San Francisco, CA
For their sponsor activation at TechCrunch's DISRUPT conference in San Francisco, Bridgewater sought to attract top-tier talent while remaining soft-spoken and low-impact. To tackle this incongruous objective we built a comfortable, tech-infused space, that balanced scale and perception by utilizing mirror paneling, allowing the area to be simultaneously attractive and invisible.
April 2009 /// United Nations Delegates Dining Room, UN Millenium Plaza /// NYC
As is expected of the largest food company in the world, Nestlé is also a leader in Corporate Social Responsibility, paving the way with their Creating Shared Value (CSV) forum. Bringing together scientists, farmers, diplomats and businessmen, the CSV forum strives to both educate consumers and producers on environmental sustainability as well as provide developmental and nutritional benefits for communities across the globe.
May 2007 /// Paradise Island /// Bahamas
To celebrate the opening of their newest property on Paradise Island, The Cove, Atlantis resorts threw a celebrity-driven soiree featuring musical performances from The Village People, Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith, and Janet Jackson.
February 2011 /// Stowe, VT
In conjunction with their 'Refreshment Duo' ad campaign, Labatt Blue Light hosted a weekend in Stowe for sweepstakes winners from all over the US and Canada. Taking over a rental property in the mountains, the house was modeled to be the "Refreshment HQ" where the spandex-clad duo relax while they're not distributing ice-cold Blue Lights. After a day of skiing, hiking, and snowmobiling, guests entered the home to find Labatt furnishings and refreshments a plenty. With live body painting, video confessionals, hot tubing, meet & greets with the Duo, and live music, guests had "the best weekend of my life," and plenty of Blue Light.
August 2012 /// Metropolitan Club /// NYC
For their 50th wedding anniversary, a private client took over New York's historic Metropolitan Club, for an evening of drinks, dinner, dancing, singing, lounging followed by more drinks, dinner, dancing, and singing. The all evening-affair was spread over two rooms, where elaborate set dressings were constructed to mimic the existing baroque decor, and hosted the musical talents of Julio Iglesias and Diana Ross.
May 2012 /// Openhouse Gallery /// NYC
Celebrating their 140th Anniversary, Shiseido cosmetics staged a 5-day event at the Openhouse Gallery, which was repeatedly repurposed to suit dinners, product showcases, and cocktail parties. Wrapping the main space was a series of timeline of placards depicting the history of Shiseido, with museum cases housing particular beauty products from Shiseido's archives. The room also housed a cherry blossom tree, marrying the decors pink palate with the theme of Springtime in Japan. By the entry area, a large 'Wishing Wall' was constructed, adorned with hanging Ema, the traditional Japanese wooden plaques.
January 2011 /// MoMA /// NYC
The One Club's 'Best of the Digital Decade' celebrated the creatives and agencies behind some of the most striking, memorable, and culture-advancing work in advertising. Hosted at the starkly modern Museum of Modern Art, the event was a black-tie dinner and program, acknowledging the stellar work done in the advertising medium over the past 10 years.