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New Exhibit To Immerse Auto Show Visitors In Experiential Wonderland


Pumpkin Pilot
Staff member
Elite Explorer
February 8, 1999
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City, State
Wayoutin, Aridzona
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XL '20 ST
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 7, 2005 - It may span two-and-a-half acres and be constructed of enough steel to build 250 cars, but the biggest – and boldest – part of this year's all-new Ford Motor Company exhibit is actually the sensory-led experience it will deliver for the nearly 1 million people expected to attend the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

A unique combination of design elements, technology and storytelling will allow them to experience the company’s cars and trucks in a more personal way.

“We want people to enter our space and feel like they’re part of the Ford Motor Company experience,” says J Mays, group vice president, Design, and Chief Creative Officer. “We're taking a more emotive approach to even better connect with people and win the hearts and minds of more people we’d like to call our customers. So with a sensory-driven approach, we’re creating more vivid experiences that showcase, brand by brand and product by product, where automobiles meet real life.”

From a design perspective, the same attention to detail that accompanies designing a car was applied to creating the show space. All of the materials and colors – including those for the vehicles – were individualized by brand and meticulously selected to work together.

The auto show space brings Ford innovation to life for consumers, starting at the entrance. A sedum-filled oval surrounds Chairman and CEO Bill Ford’s rallying cry for Ford Motor Company: “Innovation is the compass by which this company sets its direction.”

The company’s commitment to design, technology, environmental and safety innovation all are evident throughout Ford, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Mazda, Mercury, Land Rover, Lincoln and Volvo display spaces, which were designed in cooperation with Imagination, Ltd., and constructed by Exhibit Works.

The exhibit features significantly higher levels of interaction, encouraging more engagement with the brands.

“We're taking the same experiential marketing philosophy we’ve been using on the vehicle marketing side and applying it directly to Ford Motor Company auto show exhibit elements,” says Darrell Bryja, director of Global Auto Shows. “We hope guests leave our stand with a better understanding of what drives the company as well as an idea of what their next car, truck or crossover looks like.”

Each Brand Tells its Own Unique Story in its Own Way

People approaching the Ford stand will first see a striking blue façade marked by two giant LED screens. Behind the screens, they'll see the traditional Ford oval shape is present, but it’s been turned on its side, drawing show-goers into the full Ford experience in an all-new way.

“Of course, the stars of the show remain the strong lineup of Ford Motor Company cars and trucks,” says Mays. “But we’ve taken a dramatic approach to showcase them in an oasis of modern shapes, sounds – and even scents.”

Differentiated environments express the individual personality and essence of each brand:

Ford: The Ford space welcomes you as a typical American city’s town square would. Bold, bright colors and an open, expansive environment are enhanced with a unique dome ceiling that continuously changes colors and tones. Information and video for individual vehicles is presented to customers on interactive spec pods, rather than the traditional static stands. Four distinct vehicle areas showcase Blue Oval cars, trucks, SUVs and Living Legends, including the family of Mustangs. Technology exhibits highlight environmental leadership in hybrids, other alternative fuels and safety; share more information on Ford's family of powertrains and truck leadership; and even give visitors a chance to play an all new X-Box 360 game called “Need for Speed,” which pits some of today’s hottest Mustangs against each other and the clock.

Lincoln : The Lincoln space provides the ultimate effort in immersing visitors into individual vehicle environments. Next to each Lincoln is a multi-media hub that literally creates a personal space. When a show-goer enters the hub, he or she takes a seat on luxurious Lincoln leather and then triggers a driving simulation film. One half of the screen shows the view from the driver’s window, while the other shows the lifestyle the car or truck would be part of. To top it off, there’s an olfactory element as well. For example, as the Lincoln Zephyr sedan drives through the streets of Seattle , not surprisingly, it passes a coffee shop and its scent, literally, fills the air. When the all-new 2007 Aviator crossover pulls out of a Hollywood , California , driveway, it passes beautiful magnolias and the aroma of sweet flowers perfumes the air. Lincoln ’s display is an elegant contrast of dark and light materials accented with orange tones that are warm while conveying energy and strength.

Mercury : At Mercury, the stand reflects the personality of the customers it’s drawing with new products like the Milan sedan and Mariner SUV. Mercury customers like to discover information on their own and with new “I Screens” located in the Mercury area, they’re free to do just that. A show visitor can grab onto the “I screens” and move them in a full 360-degree circle. As the person moves with the screen, the information and view changes and tells a lifestyle story.

For example, a walk around the Milan will show the versatility of its interior by showing the vehicle through the eyes of a surfer who easily loads his board into the car. At times, the information is also projected onto large LED screens built into the larger display. Mercury colors are sophisticated, but expressive and modern with cool blue and green tones.

Mazda : Mazda will present a unique sense of dynamic energy and movement true to the brand’s promise of "Zoom-Zoom". Contemporary shapes and new “Emotion Walls”, including an 18-foot giant LED main screen, are designed in diamond shapes with accelerating curves that give a bold kinetic backdrop and make you feel the soul of a sports car that is standard in every Mazda vehicle. The stand highlights vibrant use of yellow and white with youthful, dynamic graphics and flooring materials feature black bamboo flooring which stylishly embodies Mazda’s proud Japanese heritage. Consumers can also experience the joy of motion through driving simulators and may interact with a variety of product and technology exhibits throughout the stand.

Volvo : Volvo's stand reflects the brand's commitment to make a statement for life. It is a gesture of appreciation to our senses, a place where you can experience real emotion. It is a calm, inviting and welcoming spa. Extensive use of scenery, lighting, fragrances and special effects come into play in the display of Volvo's new C70 sedan. The C70s on the stand feature special roofs that open and create a sensory experience that might make you feel the car is driving through a misty morning or a sunshiny day. Volvo's design reflects the brand's Scandinavian heritage expressed through creative engineering and blond material palette.

Jaguar : Jaguar’s attention to detail is clearly reflected in the open, inviting space of its stand. It’s been designed to make a bold and modern statement about the brand using a combination of beautiful materials that include cherry wood and aluminum, which are used throughout. An exclusive raised seating area in the stand creates a sanctuary for visitors, and a large LED area showcases the details of the Jaguar story, where modern design meets inspired engineering.

Land Rover : At Land Rover, adventure meets classic design. Warm English oak and indigo stone finish provide a contrasting, but simple style, while the displays take visitors on a journey. A waterfall provides a cool, refreshing spot while an LR3 lives on a turntable that dips, tips and sways to highlight the vehicle’s go-anywhere capability.

Aston Martin : The Aston Martin stand reflects the brand’s exclusivity. A private viewing room is surrounded by electro-chromatic glass that transforms from clear to opaque at the touch of a button. This allows for one-on-one customer interaction, a trademark of the Aston Martin brand.

About the Ford Motor Company Display

Ford Motor Company Display Facts:

* More than 80 different vehicles on site
* 108,000 square feet of exhibit space
* 2,400 LED screens bring to life eight distinct brand environments
* More than 360,000 pounds of steel used, plus 280,000 pounds of aluminum and 31,000 sheets of plywood
* Constructed over 10 weeks, by 260 skilled trades-people to construct

Sounds like a beautiful place -- Wish I could be there.


I envy those that will attend.