We tell the story of Aniventure Comic Con 2018 because it is epic! We take the tape back, and you sit down comfortably, the movie begins.
The crowd of many thousands in front of the IEC on the morning of September 15 slightly startled us. The view was impressive, and the enthusiasm and impatience of the people at the door could be cut with a knife. For us, on the other side of the barricade, the feeling just before the official opening was reminiscent of the moment in which the protagonist anxiously awaits his fate. The hour of truth in which we will find out if we have done our job. And it was quite challenging, for which we are grateful to our customers and partners from Acer Bulgaria.
Undoubtedly, the event is of great interest to potential sponsors, given the large audience with diverse demographics and profiles.
The large-scale expo, which accompanies all days of the event, is attended by some of the biggest companies in the gaming industry, cinema, television, and of course guest stars from the most beloved films of AMC and HBO. The budgets invested in creative and performance of the stands are dizzying, and the competition for the attention of the audience breaks all the rocks. The task was to create an attractive branded stand for ACER PREDATOR and to offer an added value experience.
Said, done! The rumor about the corner assigned to ACER PREDATOR and the attraction we offered there went around all the halls and left us on our feet for over 40 hours.
But first a little background! Visitors are a specific segment, diverse and pretentious, demanding of details and even more – oversaturated with such experiences. Fans of gaming, comics and cinema maniacs are original, young, with a high general and visual culture. The so-called cosplayers have been preparing for the event for months and creating really impressive costumes. They are so well-crafted that to some extent they set a standard of originality that should be surpassed. Careful study of previous editions, competitors in the technology segment, the level of company performance worldwide and regionally was the mandatory minimum, which we started with before offering creative ideas.
EVENT WITH CHARACTER
Comic Con is a complex event, the program offers countless attractions, distributed in themed halls, scattered throughout the Expo Center. The traffic is an uncontrollable flow of people, and its intensity depends entirely on the dynamics of the program and the schedule of the biggest stars. Movie screenings, presentations, meet and greet area, tickets with different levels of access, prize competitions, relaxation areas, a huge gaming area are just some of the temptations that await visitors.
AND … ACTION!
Taking into account factors and arguments, we started working in two directions: creative and purely constructive part, related to the correct and original utilization of the exhibition space and consumer (marketing) experience that will distinguish us. The main challenge was not to shift the focus from the products and the brand and whatever we came up with to break it through the prism of the product.
20 square meters of creativity and that’s it. When it comes to a stand, every square meter is a bite of the budget, so you fit your idea into the relaxed space. This limitation has helped to exclude some of the ideas that require more space to implement.
A LIFE LIKE A MOVIE!
Inspired by the magical world of cinema, we created the stand concept united by the idea of offering an added value experience. Behind the scenes of each production lies an incredibly curious process of building images and recreating the plot. We lifted the curtain on the world of cinema and offered “Life as in a movie” for all avid fans who dream of the spotlight. In short, each visitor to the stand received a complete transformation of a character of his choice, performed by a professional make-up artist in real conditions. In fact, we have confused a zone for dreams to come true, as we prefer to call it.
At Comic Con events, contact time between sponsors and prospects makes sense of the budget and effort, so the more you earn, the greater the success of participation. Numbers are numbers and marketers are very interested in them. Emotion, however, cannot be measured in numbers, and that was the added value we were looking for.
The excitement at the sight of passers-by absorbing every detail of our work with curious glances was enormous. Initially, they stopped by us with some misunderstanding, but the news about the free professional make-up definitely did not allow us to pass.
The temptation to take on a role was so appealing that the price of the inevitable wait was generously paid by everyone in the noisy queue. The time was ours. It remained to use it properly and not be boring in any way.
We made special temporary tattoos – with the PREDATOR logo, which were an absolute hit. People had a lot of fun playing with them, and we rubbed our hands in satisfaction at the hundreds of ambassadors who will volunteer to promote the brand, even outside the event.
All that remained was to include the products in the equation. But focusing on products in this case was as unthinkable as holding ice cream in front of a child and making him eat broccoli.
That’s why we loaded an electronic catalog with make-up options on a total of 3 PREDATOR laptop models on display. Something like a visual list of characters. Thus, the wait naturally turned into an interaction with the products – laptops and tablets, which inevitably raised questions and an occasion for short product consultations.
Of course, Comic Con is not an event whose success can be measured by sales. Unlike most competitors, we did not rely on promotions, discount coupons or the usual marketing approaches. The advertising of the products was presented lightly and naturally, so that it would not be unnecessarily intrusive. On the contrary, it aroused the curiosity of only those who were really interested. The attraction of our stand literally swept the competition, and we tirelessly revived unique characters from favorite movies and computer games and let them write their own story.
Thanks to the catalog we saved time and ensured a smoother organization, limiting the possibility of improvisation and saving valuable resources. With the help of make-up artists and avid fans of fantasy movies and gamers, we determined the characters to offer.
And so our first day began with a huge crowd of people, whose energy and happiness charged us in the otherwise tiring 10-hour rhythm of the event.
The imagination of both the audience and the make-up artists was amazing, and there was a real celebration in our corner, which made sense of all the efforts to create the concept and its actual implementation.
Regardless of the character chosen, the resemblance was striking.
Once invented, the idea thrilled the whole team, but of course, behind its implementation was a mountain of details, difficulties and tireless work. Even an amazing idea can fail with poor performance, so during the calculations, drawings, planning and removal of details we tried to provide the client with 1 to 1 accuracy.
In order to fill the space as much as possible and at the same time leave room for the flow of people, we drew a stand on a scale and began to fill it with content. Make-up workstations and a product display area were combined to save space, and every inch of space was used to move the mass of people freely. The look was clean, stylishly branded and noticeable, and our stand literally towered over everyone else, because we also used the space in height. As a result, the ACER logo was visible from all points of the hall and especially immediately upon entering from the doors. We took advantage of the height by placing a screen on one of the walls and broadcasting the main action in real time. Thanks to the wireless cameras and wi-fi network provided by our good friends from D-link, we broadcast live from the scene all the time and many stopped just to look.
We can proudly say that the final project was completed with an accuracy of 1 to 1.
Recreating a real dressing room was also challenging. The inspiration literally came from those movie scenes where the action takes place in the dressing room, in front of the big glowing mirror. We made the mirrors to order to resemble those of the movies as much as possible and to go with the overall style of the stand. They gave an artistic atmosphere and an association that can’t be wrong – this is about make-up. Their height of 1 meter was also not accidental. The reflection and the general vision of the wall measuring 5×4 meters could be seen in their reflection, which meant that no matter from which angle the stand was photographed or looked at, the brand would definitely come out. This was great for the media, who found it difficult to make reports without advertising content.
We found professional make-up artists who willingly and willingly worked tirelessly for over 8 hours a day. Thanks to our friends from FX studio Bulgaria we managed to realize this difficult task in a stunningly successful way.
ACER PREDATOR laptops are actually very powerful machines. Predatory gamers literally dream of a machine with such parameters, for the ultimate in-game experience. The connection with the film of the same name is not accidental and we have no choice but to revive the real PREDATOR and harness the forces to be our advertising face of flesh and blood during the Comic Con.
Avid fans tirelessly posed for pictures with him, which allowed us to involve digital channels in the entire marketing strategy. Inventing a raffle with prizes was too boring and standard, so we organized a competition for the most original photo with our hero. In the two days of the event we provided specially for the purpose, costumed and make-up characters who freely walked around the halls of the event, and everyone who took pictures with them and posted their photo on Instagram or Facebook, got a chance to win an ACER award. Thus, on all fronts, our popularity grew by the minute.
Back at the start, when the closed doors separated us from the dumb, we felt a moment of hesitation and excitement from the upcoming meeting with so many people. A few minutes later there was no room for hesitation. We were definitely the biggest hit, and the happiness we generously distributed to the people brought us the greatest satisfaction.
We can’t wait for Comic Con 2019, where we will happily have to outdo ourselves!
See more photos from the exciting edition of Comic Con 2018!