Loving what you do isn’t something lots of people can say. I know how lucky I am to have a job that lets me connect with brands and causes that really talk to me and that I’m passionate about. And when I can work hard but see the end product actually come to life in a really big and cool way for others to also see- there’s not much that makes me happier. Ford’s Warriors in Pink activation ranks as one of my favorite events that I have been a part of during my tenure here at Hargrove. The story and cause behind the event, the difficulties behind the scenes and the outcome made the opening that much sweeter for me.
Every year, Ford and their Warriors in Pink campaign creates original pieces that you can buy and 100% of the net proceeds supports Breast Cancer research and awareness charities. This year, Ford wanted to do an event in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which would raise awareness of Breast Cancer, spotlight the Warriors in Pink campaign, and incorporate their new 2017 Ford Fusion Energi into the build. Ford not only wanted to send a good message and support an amazing cause, but they wanted the event to have a personal vibe to it.
When our designer was originally rendering the event, she learned about the old Japanese legend that if a 1,000 cranes were folded, then a wish would be granted. Our whole creative team fell in love with the idea that all the cranes could be displayed as part of the activation, so almost immediately the notion of all of the cranes being suspended from the ceiling was born.
On-site we were sitting on the show floor rummaging through the hundreds of cranes that were made, when we started reading what was written on the cranes’ wings. On every crane was an area that said “I wish…” where every folder was able to fill in the statement with his or her personal wish. The hours of tying cranes to wire flew by while we admired the variety of cranes that were made, some looking more like dragons or some even showing up with little paper hats. One thing that this event had that many corporate activations lack, is an aspect of personal connection.
We were challenged as a company to be the first to rig from one of New York City’s newest buildings, The Oculus. The venue had to install new rigging points for the activation, which set back our schedule. However, we were all determined to have the show open on time. (Spoiler, show opened on time!)
The activation was huge and took up the good majority of the Oculus’s floor. It was the night before show opened and we were really able to finally stand in awe of everything that we’d created. Once Ford’s 2017 Ford Fusion Energi was driven into position, the event looked complete. We spent the remainder of the night enjoying one another’s company as we put vases on tables, organized merch in displays and spruced up the remaining elements of the build. We ran from one side of the building to another checking out the build from all angles and levels. I was truly in awe of the dramatic, oversized build that we had created. The vibrant color palette made a show-stopping statement against the Oculus’s white background. It was not only breathtaking, but incorporated Ford’s Warriors in Pink logo and patterns perfectly.
Almost immediately after we opened the tables were flooded with passerbys and commuters excited to fold cranes at the oversized runway counters. A pre-school came by to fold cranes and sat on the floor as their teacher tried to walk them through the steps. I don’t think many successful looking cranes came from them, but they were so adorable trying as their little fingers worked to fold the origami papers just so. The merchandise counters had an ongoing line of people supporting the cause by buying t-shirts and scarves. Brand ambassadors walked through the space handing out pink bandanas, which I was excited to see all across NYC that weekend.
The event was a perfect way to have Breast Cancer Awareness Month go out with a bang and I was beyond proud to have been a part of something so meaningful!