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April 17, 2012

Skyscraper projections bringing brands to life

Over the past few years we’ve seen innovative ideas that bring brands to life in huge — and we mean skyscraper-sized — ways. In this post we’ll be looking at the way large-scale projectors have been used not only to showcase new concepts, but also to engage those who see them (even from several kilometers away). The photos and videos below include mood-sensitive architecture, people-powered skyscraper colors and Nokia’s own live music launch parties complete with giant 3D projections.

Thermostat Architecture
In March, an Austin skyscraper “interacted” with SXSW partygoers as the building was transformed into a gigantic app as part of the promotion for the new Nike+ FuelBand.

For background, the Nike+ FuelBand is worn on the wrist and records the wearer’s activity throughout the day, tracking stats like how many steps they’ve taken and calories burned. It syncs using the Nike+ FuelBand app and is a great tool for helping set — and more easily reach — exercise goals.

To display the functionality to Austin’s partyers, Nike tracked the energy of everyone wearing a FuelBand at the party, and converted those stats into a psychedelic projection on the city’s iconic Frost Bank Tower. As Diplo and Sleigh Bells put on high energy shows inside the venue, the skyscraper became increasingly green on the outside as activity levels escalated on the dance floor.

Image via

Emotional Architecture in Europe
Amazing what we can do with apps, isn’t it? Yet people-powered chameleon architecture was actually spotted in Sweden back in January 2008, before app stores were even around. Even without smartphone apps, the Emotional Cities project was able to get participants to log onto a website and update their moods. As they did, the collective mood of the city impacted the color of the projections on the Haymarketscrapers in Stockholm.

Image via

The Emotional Cities “participatory light installation and web project” continued after that, moving to cities like Belgrade in fall 2010. The website simply asked participants to click on a color-coded index of emoticons, which collectively determined the color of the projection on a landmark — in Belgrade’s case, it was the Palace Albania.

Image via EmotionalCities

While doesn’t look it’s been updated since 2010, a map indicates the project went on to other cities like Paris, Seoul, Tokyo, New York and Sao Paulo.

Animated Buildings, With DJs
Of course a post about music-backed projections on buildings wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the hyper visual DJ show Nokia put on with deadmau5 in London last November. As part of the Nokia Lumia 800 Windows phone launch, the Canadian DJ spun his high energy music while the entire Millbank Tower was transformed into a gigantic animated light show that could be seen from the Thames river.

Fan-Integrated, Live Music Launch Parties
Building on the high energy dance party DeadMau5 put on for the Lumia 800 launch in London, Nokia headed to New York City’s Times Square to launch the Lumia 900 with Nicki Minaj earlier this month. After Nikki introduced the video, she announced that Nokia had created “their own remix to Starships and you guys are going to get to be in that video!” Check out the fan reaction below:

Can you think of other unique ways that large-scale projections could be used to engage people with brands?