To mark Harlequin’s 60th anniversary, a pop-up gallery was opened in New York’s SoHo district featuring book covers from the last 6 decades and illustrating societal changes over time. Our target was busy modern women who enjoy reading as personal relaxation time. We had two challenges:
- Perception: change the perception of Harlequin as a dated line of one-track romance novels that are no longer relevant
- Execution: take a passive gallery environment and turn it into an interactive and dynamic experience creating a positive and energized perception of the Harlequin brand
Readers use Harlequin novels as an escape. It transports them into the time, place and situation of the heroine.
We enabled a woman to choose her own personal Harlequin fantasy and create a cover where she plays the leading role.
For the exhibit, we installed an interactive wall that let users navigate using only their hand gestures.
- They selected their fantasy man/scenario (from cowboy to sheik).
- Took their own photo.
- Then got an image of themselves in the arms of their object of desire.
- They could share their own ‘bookcover’ with their social networks.
- North American media coverage including Globe and Mail, CNN and many others.
- Initial estimates projected that 1/3 of visitors would partake in the experience and complete the creation of a personalized cover. Final numbers showed that approximately 50% of the several thousand visitors created their own cover – all with dozens of gallery onlookers each time.