Hundreds of thousands of people visit Times Square every day, taking photos of themselves in one of the greatest landmarks in the world. And countless numbers of people come to New York to become famous and leave their mark. With those insights, American Eagle Outfitters created a one-of-a-kind experience for customers at their flagship store in Times Square. They asked R/GA to create an engaging retail experience that would be unique in the Times Square environment and specific to their audience.
The result was “15 Seconds of Fame,” a digital experience that provides anyone who visits the store with a taste of fame. With “15 Seconds of Fame,” customers have the opportunity to see themselves on one of the largest digital displays in Times Square. After a purchase, guests are invited to a custom photo studio designed by R/GA. Moments later, the guest’s photo and personal message are displayed on the 25-story-high, 15,000 sq. ft. of digital signage for all of Times Square to see. The experience also helps AE keep store flow moving and customer experiences high, while maximizing brand interactions.
R/GA’s goal was to create a seamless experience for American Eagle sales associates to take customer photos and post them to the displays. R/GA’s system allows the AE sales associate to take a photo of the customer, view it on a computer screen, then scale and post it to the sign. The system requires six computers and software to synchronize all 12 digital signs on the building façade. The system required extensive 3D modeling, mapping, and rendering to test how images would work together on the facets of the display. Only one store associate is required to operate the photo studio.
Currently, an average of 150 pictures are taken per day, often with more than one person in the photo. That means about 10 pictures are snapped each hour the store is open, seven days a week. In one of the busiest and competitive shopping areas in the world, the experience has proved successful in attracting people to enter the store and shop. Visitors from across the globe have taken part. On the first day, a gentleman used the “15 Seconds of Fame” experience to propose to his girlfriend (she said yes!).
John Jones, Roman Kalantari (creative directors); Ted Warner (senior developer); Steven Kalifowitz (executive producer); Mary Church, Andrew Hsu, Andrew Chee (associate creative directors); Matt Lawrence (art director, 3D); Michael Shagalov (quality assurance director); Jeffrey Dzwonkowski (senior technology project leader); Marc Shillum (director of brand development); Shannan Coghill, Tyler Forster (senior visual designers); David Yates (senior interaction engineer); Christopher Raleigh (motion graphics designer); Stephen Barnwell (digital studio manager); Jamie Reeder (visual designer); Mark Voelpel (CG supervisor); Bharat Vohra (junior video editor); Jesse Beller (workflow and delivery manager)
The Barnycz Group (multimedia/”spectacular” design), Barco (LEDs)
“This piece makes Times Square personal and intimate while still being monumental and dynamic. Wonderful!”