Cannes Lions

The AT&T Experience Store

AT&T, El Segundo / AT&T / 2021

Case Film
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Following its acquisition of Warner Media, AT&T was positioned to become a major modern media company. The AT&T Retail Innovation Team set out to celebrate this new acquisition and raise consumer awareness of the brand and its new relationship. Knowing flagship retail locations, which utilized immersive experiential retail techniques, were uniquely positioned to introduce this to consumer, they set their sights on a new pinnacle location at the headquarters of AT&T in Dallas with the objective of redefining the AT&T brand and entertainment in retail.

Idea

The creative idea for the AT&T Experience Store was to design a space that would act as a portfolio stand-alone location: bigger, better, and one of a kind. It would fully marry digital content, interactive media, and product integration, and center around celebrating fandom.

It was developed to be inherently flexible from the outset, not just in terms of fixturing and merchandising, but the entire store experience and architecture itself – walls, lighting effects, spacial audio, ceilings, screens –to effectively create many different spaces out of one.

Central to the design was the need to accommodate continuously changing experiences, which would be driven by factors from seasonal brand initiatives to key cultural moments. Flexibility was also a key creative component. We wanted things like fixturing and merchandising to be married within the store, so we developed innovative structural components that could flex the space and adjust consumer focus.

Strategy

The AT&T Experience Store followed 3 years of research into the intersection of fandom and retail inspired by the merging of AT&T and Warner Media. Research showed:

• There is a desire for more tangible, intimate connections between fans and content creators.

• The integration of live experiences amplifies consumer passions while driving exploration and discovery.

The mantra “Don’t sell entertainment. Be entertaining. “ was chosen to guide the project:

• Understanding entertainment is self-defined, an experiential infrastructure would be developed to accommodate a range of entry points like film releases, gaming and events.

• Every experience would be designed to draw initial interest, engage with accessible content and enable exploration and discovery.

• The Store would be engineered to allow fans unprecedented access, join, contribute to fandom communities and co-create their own content.

• Merchandise would be a reward for engagement – 75% brand experience and 25% retail products.

Execution

The AT&T Experience Store sits within a historic building, which presented us with some architectural restraints and led to our design undergoing many changes throughout the duration of the project, spanning December 2018 to February 2020. Our first look at the space happened in January 2019. By February 2019, we had started curating the selection of experiences that would be developed for the store’s opening, and by month’s end, we were working on layouts and beginning to coordinate with the architect of record, Gensler.

As the project progressed, architectural delays that were part of the larger redevelopment of the Dallas Discovery District moved the store’s opening date, requiring us to redesign the layout and experiences. Ultimately though, in December 2020, we had aligned the design of the experiences with a basketball activation that would celebrate March Madness, and the 5,000 square foot showroom came to life to entertain consumers!

Outcome

AT&T’s Experience Store is an important step forward for marketing-led Retail Design and key to the success of the AT&T Discovery District. This store is a gift to AT&T customers and celebration for fans of entertainment and a place where all can congregate, explore, and discover a deeper relationship with the AT&T Brands.

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