New York City is renowned for its edible delights, including a wide variety of street foods, but starting Friday and running through Saturday, East Village passersby will have a billboard they can ingest, as well. Sort of. To promote its Plenity line of weight management product, marketer Gelesis has installed a temporary billboard on Astor Place featuring lots of little cubby holes that pedestrians can retrieve fresh-baked cakes from.
For old time New Yorkers who still remember Horn & Hardardt's Automat, the installation may trigger nostalgia, but for Gelesis, the goal is to promote awareness of its plant-based nutrition aid. The cakes it will be distributing over the next few days don't actually contain Plenity, but they utilize similar plant-based technology.
The experiential campaign, which was created by The&Partnership, and managed by WPP's m/SIX, is being brought to life by multi-sensory experience design agency Bompass & Parr, which is also installing "scent-o-meters" releasing puffs of holiday-inspired fragrances, a "selfie-mirror," and other sensory amplifications.
There will even be "breadcrumbs leading to the installation" from Union Square and Washington Square Park.The campaign is planned to distribute 4,000 individually-wrapped cakes through Saturday from the billboard's 1,200 cubby holes.