PixMob at Taylor Swift

A New Era

PixMob is all about crowd experience.

To date, we have been part of thousands of climactic moments in many different types of events. Our tagline, “Connect Crowds. Reinvent rituals”, defines what we do and how we are reinventing the future. From huge stadium events to small parties, we pride ourselves on the fact that we have elevated the vibe in each and every event we’ve been part of.

Over the last years, we’ve been able to improve the PixMob experience through cutting edge control systems that allow show creators to rely on the best crowd illumination technology in the world. Most of these developments have been made so that we can create the best visual effects possible.

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However, our vision has never been limited to creating climactic moments through crowd illumination.

We believe that crowd experience begins the moment a person starts to think about attending a particular event. After much anticipation, on the day of the event in question, all participants come together in a common location; they walk through the gates together, take pictures, make new friends, buy souvenirs, and eventually share their experience on social media – whether during the event (if the internet connection is working) or after. Sometimes this magical experience even leads to the planning of the next event. There is nothing like the last days of your vacation to dream about the next one…

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Over the last 2 years, we have integrated RFID applications such as photo booth and brand activation into a few, albeit significant, projects. While this form of connectivity at an event is important, it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bringing people together due to RFID’s limited range. We have explored new ways of reaching deeper connectivity and, in the upcoming months, we will start releasing a new platform that will help make the overall experience at an event more in touch with what really matters: the present moment.

“Wearable” and “IoT” are two buzzwords you may have heard recently. These have been part of our vision for years and will be crucial to the events that we will amplify in the future.

Our concept of connecting crowds will reach a new level. We strive to make crowd experience more fun before, during and after the event.

Stay tuned. We are reinventing your event experience.

David Parent and Vincent Leclerc

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Ready, Set, Shine: How PixMob Creates Magical Pre-Game Jitters

PixMob has lit sporting events on several continents. No matter the different country and culture, there is always something very distinct and spectacular about a sports game. There is a universal language that all athletes and sports fans speak. It makes the energy at the game something truly special. This energy is amplified and becomes magical when PixMob is involved.

 

As a sports fan, you step into the stands with a predisposition for excitement. You are anxious to see your favourite team play, and are prepared to cheer at the top of your lungs. You see all of the other fans wearing the color and gear of your team and the excitement mounts. You feel an instant solidarity with everyone in the stands who is also cheering for your team. You see the opposing team’s fans and instantly feel competitive but also grateful they are there to antagonize you. You are ready to engage with them and build that ever so unique atmosphere that you only come across at sports gatherings with die-hard fans filling the bleachers.

 

As the sound of the whistle approaches and the pre-game entertainment is underway your pre-game jitters are at their peak. This is when the mysterious bracelet you were handed upon entering the stadium lights up. Just as you are amazed that the bracelet lights up, you realize the entire stadium is sparkling with flashing lights. You are in awe. You begin to scream, cheering louder than ever before, smile stuck across your face. The wristbands change color and the stadium shines in your team’s colours. Their logo even floats across the stadium; the bracelets have turned the attendees into a human screen.

 

This feeling is irreplaceable to any sports fan. The culture of feverously watching sports matches is not something new. We want to cheer our team on because we love to make them feel supported. These gatherings are an opportunity for people to come together in a simple, transparent fashion. We forget all motives except our love for our team. The energy that connects us to everyone else in the stand is a pure and sincere one.

 

PixMob is pivotal in creating this energy. The effects that our products create magnify this energy and connect crowds in a way that is otherwise not possible, especially in such large venues. Fans are united, stronger in their encouragement. The vastness of the stands is no longer impersonalizing. Rather it is a bright, unifying net that contains and propels the energy from the players and fans.

 

Best of all, PixMob leaves you with a souvenir that you can bring home. You can hold onto that energy that made you so giddy, and relive the magic at home.

Videos

 

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The Pulse of EDM

Making Magic with Medalla

With big name headliners including Skrillex, Tiesto and Zedd, Electric Holiday is one the biggest annual events in Puerto Rico. For two days over the Christmas and Three Kings holidays, the Puerto Rico Convention Centre in San Juan turned into a giant rave.

On Jan 5, 2015, PixMob worked with promoter Buena Vibra and local beer Medalla to create a magical moment. 22,000 EDM fans received PixMob wristbands as they entered the festival. In keeping with Medalla’s branding we used our single-colour LITE wristbands with yellow LEDs.

After American low-end crew Nadastrom finished their set, and as anticipation built for French DJ Tchami, the crowd was brought to the next level. As Tiesto’s hit track Wasted reached the chorus, all 22,000 wristbands lit up in bright yellow, bringing the crowd from loud to LOUD.

The energy in the room stayed high, with the crowd pulsing with the music for the rest of the night.

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Boots and Pants and Boots and Pants

While traditional Puerto Rican and music such as Bomba and Salsa is based on clave rhythms, Four-on-the-Floor beats are captivating the eardrums of a generation. From disco to house to trance, EDM is enjoying huge popularity on the isla del encanto.

Giorgio Moroder describes the connection we feel to these rhythms on his Collaborator’s interview for Daft Punk’s 2014 album Random Access Memories. The pulse of EDM, especially around 120 BPM, resonates with the rhythm of our heartbeat. Musically, this lays a foundation to layer other rhythms using synths, bass, vocals and other musical elements.

Videos

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Interview with the Director of the University of Michigan Marching Band

Every year, the University of Michigan football team plays one-night game, called Under the Lights. This year, their marching band called on PixMob to add some magic to their halftime show. Band director John D. Pasquale answered some questions to help us get to know these innovative musicians.

 

Name
John D. Pasquale
Title
Associate Director of Bands
Director, Michigan Marching Athletic Bands
Donald R. Shepherd Chair in Conducting

What is the history of the UMichigan Marching Band?

In the finest tradition of 19th-century Americana, the origin of the Michigan Marching Band was a grass roots student effort. In November 1896, the University of Michigan Band held its first rehearsal. At the behest of University President James Burrill Angell that the newly-formed band prove itself to be a “sincere venture,” the University of Michigan Band gave its first public performance in 1897 at old University Hall for the Law School’s annual observance of Washington’s birthday. The first appearance on a football field was in the fall of 1898.This year, the Marching band just finished their 117th season.

 

What is the mission of the UMichigan Marching Band?

The mission of the MMB is three fold: to provide our students with the best experience possible, to support the University of Michigan’s football team and to support the University of Michigan, it’s alumni and fans through excellence in performance and setting new standards with exciting, creative and innovative halftime shows

 

How many people are in the UMichigan Marching Band team?

The staff of the MMB has 31 people, and for the 2014-15 season, we had 391 students playing in the band.

 

How do you recruit them?

Recruiting for the MMB takes place in many forms: direct, targeted recruiting for specific students; large-scale recruiting through the band directors around the United States; personal connections to current students in the MMB; and an aggressive social media presence.

 

Who composes/arranges the band’s music?

The music is arranged by Dr. Scott Boerma (former Director of the MMB) and John Stout. The drill (pictures and movement on the field) was written by Michael Gaines.  These three are the best in the business!!!

 

How often do you practice?

We practice daily (Monday-Friday) for 90 minutes each day.

 

Why did you choose PixMob for your team’s annual night game?

We chose PixMob because of it’s reputation, creativity, professionalism and flawless execution.  The concept has never been done on a football field with a marching band and we constantly look for new ways to incorporate the latest technology into our performances.  PixMob was the logical choice.

 

What did it add to your performance?

PixMob was the visual component of the show; it added an unprecedented interactive element unique to the genre of marching and pageantry arts.

 

How did the crowd react to the light show?

As is heard on the video, the crowd went crazy!  In fact, they are still talking about it.  This show was a defining moment in the MMB’s history.

Gallery

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More info about the project : click here 

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Listen with your eyes

The experience of being in a crowd of people, watching skilled musicians create their art, cannot be replicated. PixMob draws inspiration from great live music and its fundamental elements to connect crowds.

The Pulse

The musical element that resonates most deeply and most physically is the pulse. Whether it’s trance, afrobeat, jazz or rock n roll, the pulse is what you tap your foot to, what you dance to. It is the most basic rhythm that lays the foundation for everything else. In a sense, all the other musical elements – all the melody and harmony and lyrics – are just embellishments of the pulse. Even in venues where the subtleties can get lost, like loud nightclubs or stadiums of 20,000 people, the pulse of the music can be felt.

Showmanship

What distinguishes the best musical performers is their showmanship. Many people are capable of creating great music on stage, but a real performer brings the audience on a journey. The show becomes about more than the music: it’s about the performance, the lights, the grooves, and the connection between artist and audience.

The simplest choreography on stage – a band locking into two-step – connects with us in a visceral way, and can jolt the audience into the moment. Even the storytelling of Bruce Springsteen or the seemingly spontaneous almost-fainting-but-I-must-go-on of James Brown are well rehearsed pieces of theatrics, designed to stir emotion in the audience.

Before there were concerts

The idea that music is performed by musicians and observed by an audience, however, is relatively new. Tribes and communities have historically gathered to sing songs and dance together, connecting through music. As recently as a few hundred years ago there was no such thing as “I don’t know how to sing”. This musical spirit is felt to this day in jam sessions and religious services. The 2nd line parades of New Orleans are led by a brass marching band, but serve to bringing the community together.

Connecting Crowds

A concert stands out as being great by bringing us back to this feeling of community. Some performers aim to do this by breaking down the ‘4th wall’ separating them from the spectator – whether it’s Bono and U2 inviting a woman from the audience to dance on stage to Mysterious Ways, or Arcade Fire parading through the Coachella with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to end their show.

The Light

Light has a special power to create this connection. From holding a Zippo lighter in the air (or cell phone, or Big Bang flower to throwing glowsticks at a Phish concert, performers and audiences use light to create moments that unite themselves with the music.

PixMob takes this to the next level. Whether it is wristbands pulsating in Las Vegas with the music of Tiësto, LED balls bouncing in the crowd with Bassnectar, or blinking helicos descending from the sky at a Coldplay concert, PixMob uses light as the element to bring together the crowd, the performer, and the pulse of the music.

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PixMob as a brand activation tool : case study of the Heineken Moment

In 2013, Heineken, Massive Music and PixMob developed the Heineken Moment, an innovative take on brand experience. During five events sponsored by the brand, each participant was given an LED wristband that lit up together, turning the vast crowd into a green ocean.

  • Lollapalooza, Brazil
  • Star Club, The Netherlands
  • Sensation, Taiwan
  • Sensation, Korea
  • Sensation, Thailand

Heineken goals

As the sponsor of these events, Heineken wanted more than just a logo on flyers and ticketing. They wanted to share the stage with the world’s most famous DJs, and enhance the crowd’s experience.

The solution

To make the audience part of the show, each clubber was given a LED wristband at the entrance. They were not told what it was for, and were just asked to put it on. At the climax of the night, the DJ set off the Heineken Moment’s special tune and all the wristbands lit up at once, immersing the crowd in an ocean of green lights, the iconic Heineken colour. Thousands of enthusiastic hands in the air made for an epic social brand experience that resonated well beyond the venue walls.

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The challenge

For the brand activation, PixMob faced the challenge of a target audience that were fans of EDM, but not necessarily the Heineken brand. Thus, we needed a solution that was original, engaging and organic. The wristband activation proved to be exactly that.

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Collaboration with Massive Music

Massive Music is the music agency for Heineken International. Heineken’s music strategy is all about involving the audience to create unexpected social experiences. For this partnership, Massive Music teamed up with PixMob to develop this brand activation that would turn Sensation fans into Heineken fans by entertaining them. The Dutch music team produced a special dance version of the brand’s music campaign title track.

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The viral aspect

Thousands of fans captured these Heineken moments on their cellular phones and shared them with their friends across the world. The three Sensation events on their own achieved over 500,000 mentions on blogs and a 150% increase in Heineken Facebook fans. The Sensation brand activation gave Heineken more than its money’s worth. € 19.4 million worth of PR value, sponsorship awareness of 74% and a sponsorship return on investment of € 26 million, made this partnership impactful on every level for both Heineken and the audience.

Testimonials

Lollapalooza’s Heineken Moment was shortlisted for The Brand Building Award. PixMob’s team was a big part of it, couldn’t have done it without you guys! Thank you!Renata Da Silva, Project Manager

The wristbands made the evening very special and were highly appreciated by the visitors. Innovative, they connected everyone together.Pascal Stolk, Heineken Netherlands

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PixMob experience : a unique moment for all at festivals

In 2010, PixMob had their festival debut with Arcade Fire at Coachella and an unforgettable drop of hundreds glowing balls. Since then, PixMob has travelled the world from one festival to another, providing immersive and unforgettable experiences using their interactive LED technology. Coachella (USA), Osheaga (Canada), Lollapalooza (Brazil), Festival d’Été de Québec (Canada), South by South West (USA), and Rock in Rio (Brazil) were unique moments for the festivalgoers, and successful marketing stunts for the sponsors. PixMob LED technology is so successful at festivals because it creates unique and magical moments. The attendees connect with each other, but also with the artist and the festival, and engage more actively with the sponsoring brand.

Various PixMob objects to mesmerize the crowd

PixMob LED technology primarily uses glowing balls, LED wristbands or sparkling helicos to create these immersive experiences, but any object can be customized with PixMob interactive technology to meet brand expectations. PixMob created ski hats for the Super Bowl Halftime Show 2014 and medallions for the Winter Games in Russia the same year. We can create any object that the sponsor can call their own.

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A memorable and unique immersive experience

PixMob is about creating unique experiences for the public. Inspired by ancient fire rituals, it’s in our DNA to immerse people in a surreal atmosphere, to unite them in a shared moment. During the Black Keys performance of their hit “Everlasting Light” at the 2012 Osheaga festival, the attendees experienced 2000 blinking helicos descending toward them like a star shower. You could see sparkles in their eyes, and the atmosphere was dreamlike. For Doritos Boldstage at SXSW 2013, the digital balls bouncing in the crowd made the attendees so excited that they started to bounce other beach inflatables. The atmosphere was wild.

A totem to keep as a souvenir

One great way to make the user experience positive and lasting is to give out a souvenir, such as a branded LED object. When the hundreds of balls fell from the ceiling of the stage during the Arcade Fire’s encore performance of “Wake up” at Coachella, the effect on the crowd was magical. Some lucky attendees brought the giant beach balls home, and logged on to the Creators Project’s website to find new ways to use them. Wristbands are also great “totems” to bring home, especially when you can keep using it after the festival.

For Lollapalooza, sponsored by Heineken, every festivalgoer could keep their branded LED bracelet. The bracelets were turned into motion-sensitive mode at the end of the concert, allowing the user to control it afterwards.

The viral aspect

Festivalgoers are well known to share their moments with their friends, fans and family. The PixMob experience makes them share more pictures, comments and tweets of themselves wearing their branded LED object. Thanks to that, sponsors gain visibility, as well as popularity as their fans generate positive comments. At Coachella, millions of fans bragged that they were there living a great experience. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were used to broadcast positive comments about the festival, the artists, the crowd experience, and of course the sponsoring brand.

Effective brand activation
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Brand activation focuses on building a long term emotional connection between the brand and the customer. Thanks to PixMob technology and its LED objects, customers will remember their incredible experience for a long time. Keeping their branded object as a souvenir will increase their engagement with the sponsor. Subway’s marketing strategy is about keeping their customers engaged. The experience is important to them – which is why they prepare their sandwiches in front of their customers. The idea of Osheaga festival sponsorship was in the same vein. Subway wanted to make the festivalgoers live an experience and engage with their brand. More than entertainment, they provided astonishment and a gift to take away to remember the brand.

The future with RFID

PixMob LED wristbands can include an RFID chip that helps turn attendees into fans, promoters and future customers. RFID technology can be used for access control at events, collecting consumer information, developing a community and communicating about the event and its sponsor – well beyond the day itself. A new way to leverage sponsorship.

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Special thanks to :

Chris Milk, Radical Media, Moment Factory, Tangible Interaction, Heineken, Subway, Nova Film, Festival d’Été de Québec, Osheaga, SXSW, Lollapalooza.