Cannes Lions

Superlight

WUNDERMAN THOMPSON, London / ASTON MARTIN / 2019

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Aston Martin are a luxury car brand from Britain, with a rich heritage. They launch a new vehicle every year. For many years, their communications have been traditional, and have struggled to cut through with the evolving luxury audience that's younger, culturally connected and from growing markets like the Middle East and Asia.

They challenged us to create a different type of car launch. One that was shared. One that was visual. One that stayed true to the brand, but brought to life the DNA of this incredible new vehicle.

The car is the DBS Superlegerra, their most powerful, lightest car ever made. We need reach, we needed shares, we need global coverage.

In a way not seen before by it's competitors.

Idea

Superlight used a light installation to accurately represent the essence of the DBS Superleggera using light as a metaphor for the vehicle. Both light and powerful, light defined our spatial design which was based on the geometrics of the car itself.

Light became the sole medium we used within the event. No walls, no set, no speakers, just light. Light was the idea, the director, the medium and the message.

We deconstructed the notion of an event by creating a space in which light was the only thing we used and every angle and proportion mimicked the car.

Strategy

Luxury car brands have low sales volumes and highly specific target audiences. We need to reach specific trade buyers, specific existing high net worth private buyers and automotive journalists. They are all discerning, experienced and used to incredible experiences. We needed a way to talk to them to a unique way, a way true to Aston Martin and to this vehicle. As one of the brand's highest priced vehicles, the launch had to be a statement.

Our strategy was to take the opposite approach to usual launches.

It was to be guided by the world of art, to conceive an idea that treated the car in a way unlike other launches. To be singular and connected to the design and to it's beauty.

Execution

We worked with a team of lighting designers, alongside the original car designers to create a three dimensional space where every measurement was in proportion to the car.

We selected a venue whose geometry match the proportions of the car, and one that allowed us to create a unique environment, where guests were part of the reveal, designing it around a central stage. The physical environment was deconstructed and remade using only light.

The combined design team used 150 lights suspended from a custom array to fill the ceiling void, to create the shafts of light identical to the grill of the car.

A 5 tonne custom light-box, again in direct proportion to the car was suspended from a pulley system, rigged with recently invented LED lighting system to provide the beams of light for the reveal moment.

The project took 6 months, the event was in The Roundhouse, London.

Outcome

The event was at maximum capacity, and live streamed across the world. Traffic to the Aston Martin home page was so busy the site went offline for 30 mins due to overloading.

PR coverage featured globally in all key automotive titles and mainstream media including Wired, CNBC, GQ, The Sun, Gazzeta, Top Gear, Autocar and more.

Two owned social posts delivered a combined 92m unique reach.

In terms of sales, they were 25% ahead of forecast. The sales figures represent an industry beating 47% lead to conversion rate.

The website had so many visitors during the launch event that it temporarily crashed to due server overload. Enquiries were 500% more than previous launches.

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