2009 Meijer He Rides
BlueWater Technologies Takes Meijer Digital Media Group On a Wild Ride!
The first ever “Beamvertising” campaign in the United States
When traditional marketers want to splash their message across a market, they typically use television to “beam” their advertising to viewers. But with Halloween just around the corner, Meijer’s newly developed digital media group, wanted to take their advertising to new heights. Rather than investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into commercials, they invested their time into creating “He Rides”, a headless horseman that would be “beamed” onto buildings throughout downtown Chicago. Their goal: to create a pre-Halloween spectacular that would generate free media coverage.
The concept is called “Beamvertising” and with the help of BlueWater Technologies, Meijer was the first company in the United States to use an entire city’s streetscape as its canvas.
BlueWater collaborated with Meijer’s digital media group and IT provider Springthrough to bring the headless horseman to life. Meijer executives wanted the horse to actually move through the city at the speed of traffic, taking advantage of stops and starts, to display a message that would promote the Meijer name and a “text to win” campaign.
In order to create a “moving beam” that would walk, trot, gallop and rear up to reveal the text instructions, BlueWater retrofitted a Meijer van with an on-board computer and GPS system, a 12,000 ANSI Lumen projector with pan and tilt control and a generator.
As the van traveled from Chicago’s loop to Wrigleyville, the GPS system controlled the show. If traffic was moving at 1-5 miles per hour, the GPS directed the computer to project the horse walking. As traffic picked up speed, the horse began to trot and as the van geared up to full throttle, the horse began to gallop. Each time the vehicle came to a complete stop, the GPS system directed the computer to project the Meijer “text to win” campaign on a city building. A chase vehicle, equipped with an HD camera followed, to capture all the action.
The Meijer Halloween campaign was the talk of the town, with passers by sending viral videos of the headless horseman from their cell phones and television crews trying to catch the wild ride on tape. Meijer was flooded with text messages and with requests for interviews. The headless horseman caused a stir at every media outlet in Chicago and across 50 countries, as the images made their way to YouTube. In the end, Meijer’s “He Rides” campaign caught the attention of more than 8 million people.
As Meijer tackled media requests from around the globe, BlueWater Technologies got their own surprising phone call. The vice president of marketing for Sanyo, called from Japan, to congratulate the BlueWater team on the most innovative use of their projectors the company had ever seen.
BlueWater looks forward to providing the technology for Meijer’s on-going innovative digital campaigns and live events.