Turning 77kids into Rock Stars in Times Square
Kids Upload Face Pics to Appear in Rock Video on Giant Times Square Billboards
77Kids® and space150 are turning everyday shoppers into onscreen rock stars. And it couldn’t be simpler. A customized photo booth at the company’s Times Square store snaps a photo of each kid and then inserts their face into a rock video that plays to crowds outside on giant digital billboards.
“Our back to school brand program is all about being a rock star,” says Brian Franks, vice president, creative marketing, 77Kids by American Eagle. “This concept literally takes that idea and blows it up onto some of the largest, busiest commercial billboards seen in the world today. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch how kids, their friends and their families react to seeing themselves larger than life in front of thousands of people.”
Kids shopping at 77Kids take one quick photo in a custom booth developed by space150. Using computer vision technology, kids’ faces are detected and the camera captures facial details from five angles, dynamically generating a 360-degree view. The images of the child’s head are placed on the body of a rock band member, slightly larger than life, then streamed to the billboard and made available to share with friends and family via an iPad kiosk in the store. To shoot and produce the video content, space150 worked with young musicians and performers from the famed Rock Nation performance school, who wore special face-tracking masks fitted with digital sensors to record their movement and positions. Up to five kids, friends or family members can be featured in one video.
“This project represents a new wave of digital marketing in the retail category,” says Marcus Fischer, president, space150. “Brands today don’t just compete on product, it’s also the overall store experience that people remember. The rock star videos will certainly stop people in their tracks in Times Square, but we conceived this experience to be shared. Customers can email the video to their friends, or share it on social networks, reinforcing the brand in a fun way to even wider peer audiences.”
Fischer added, “We love working with partners like 77Kids. They have a real appetite for using new, innovative technology that pushes the limits of both the physical and virtual space.”
The digital creative also features custom graphics that turn the exterior digital billboards of the 77Kids store into urban garage doors that appear to open to play the rock videos, as well as the 77Kids bird icon that climbs and moves around on a 25 story-high “chimney” above the store. The exterior is designed as a “fun factory” to engage, captivate and motivate kids on the street and draw them into the rock star dream.
Plans are now underway for a tailored version of the Times Square store experience to be rolled out into other 77Kids stores nationwide. In August online customers will also be able to share the experience with new web features enabling kids to upload a face pic into a rock video, apply graphics and share it to their own social networks.
space150 has also produced innovative digital concepts and content for Forever 21 and Quiksilver stores in Times Square.