Unusual Event Formats: Zen and the Art of Auto Unveilings

Unusual Event Formats: Zen and the Art of Auto Unveilings

Ever notice there’s a playbook for new car launches? Watch enough of ’em, and you’ll notice the format’s actually fairly standardized: keyword-heavy executive speech, followed by intro video that may or may not involve glass shattering in slow motion, followed by high-drama entrance of actual car which will probably roll onto a rotating dais where lights will caress the length and breadth of its chassis. A quintessential example? Okay, how about the Alfa Romeo Giulia Unveiling at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show?

See? It’s a thing. Let’s break this down:


The Executive Speech: Exotic Accents FTW

Nobody wants to buy a machine crapped out by middling engineers in a factory in Chicago. We all want to drive something made by kooky Japanese geniuses that left a promising career in military robotics because they felt honor-bound to bring minimalist perfectionism to every American driveway. Or maybe also by a crack team of Austrian thinkers, who do philosophy in their spare time.

The Soundtrack: Jewel Heists and Vampires

When the car rolls out on stage, it should make every single member of the press feel like Wesley Snipes making heads roll in full pleather.

The Entrance:The Slow Drive

The car can’t just, like, drive onto stage. It has to roll up like a bond villain pulling out of a parking garage in Vienna.

The Lighting Pan: A Firmament of LEDs

Tron:Legacy may have taken a poor stab at revitalizing a beloved scifi, but it proved one thing true: everything looks exponentially hotter outlined in a halo of LEDs. This fact has not been lost on the auto industry, which has given rise to experiential designers who specialize in creating auto-appropriate visual programming.

The Slow Spin: the Hope Dia

This is what it would look like if they sold the Hope Diamond on QVC.

Did we call that, or what?

David Sonntag
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