A big product launch deserves a big event. Make that two big events.
To salute the global launch of HTC's latest flagship phone—the HTC One—London-based brand experience agency SSG Create created two media events on March 25, staged simultaneously in London and New York.
The dual events were "SSG Create's biggest challenge to date for HTC, designing, creating and delivering an outstanding brand experience that truly reflects the spirit of HTC and their new phone," says James Dale, SSG Create director. "With simultaneous events in London and New York for well over 1,000 media, we have pulled together our biggest ever team to ensure a seamless launch."
That big team was needed, because the event team had a scant three months to plan and execute the two events. "Phone launches are typically last-minute," Dale notes, "due to changes in technologies and the product."
For the London event, 900 media representatives covering fields including technology and lifestyles came to the Olympia West exhibition hall; in New York, Skylight at Moynihan Station played host to 450 media members.
The events started at the same moment—which was afternoon in London, morning in New York—with presentations by top HTC executives, followed by the opening of the product experiential area, where media members could test the new phones.
These dedicated experiential zones featured a gallery-like design, including models on catwalks and photo backdrops that showcased the phone's camera capabilities. Guests were also able to try out the phone's audio capabilities in specially designed sound booths, and could relax in a lounge area that demonstrated the "HTC Connect" phone-to-TV feature.
"This ‘design’ message was reflected in the modernist environment we created, which was separate from yet complementary to the surrounding venue architecture, accentuating HTC’s high-design credentials whilst positioning the new phone front and center," Dale says.
Catering was handled by Levy in London and Pinch in New York. In line with the "design" theme of the events, both catering teams were chosen for their creative approach to menus and food presentation.
"Each dish was not only prepared with attention to the smallest detail but also presented and served via specially created interactive food stations and trays," Dale explains. For example, at the New York event, guests helped themselves to meat puff canapés, each nestled in a white cylinder inserted horizontally in a wooden carrying rack.
All told, the budget for the twin events was $2million.
At both events, the biggest "wow" came when the phones were first unveiled—images of the new phone were splashed across a 50-foot screen, accompanied by a booming custom soundtrack. --Lisa Hurley
SSG Create Second Floor, 59 Lafone St., London SE1 2LX; 44 (0) 20 7407 7487; www.ssgcreate.com
Photo by Red Photography.