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July/ August 2010 EXHIBITING- Exhibition analysis for the marketing professional 38 the contractor " Let's say you have a special project for a giant global brand. The product is a groundbreaking, hi- tech feature film set 65 million years ago, you have four weeks to launch, no venue, no supplier and four sets of sponsors to satisfy. You are going to need a miracle, or at least a supplier who can work one for you. This was the challenge set by event company Merlin, theme park Chessington World of Adventures ( CWA), media giant 20th Century Fox, and ice cream manufacturer Walls for the launch of the recent Ice Age 3movie. Before an agency came on board, the discussions had been limited to branding, graphics and regular give- away promotions; tried and tested, low impact, low risk strategies we all know and love. That may provide great value for money and be easy to organise, but if your objective is to break new ground and immerse the audience in your brand, a give- away is not going to cut the mustard, especially when the product is the third of a movie trilogy. Everyone was keen to push into new territory and provide an immersive experience. CWA and Merlin provided an area at Chessington, which we could adapt as necessary. This meant direct competition for audience share with roller coasters, log flumes and all of the other excitement at a theme park. Fox needed the experience to reflect the sophistication and fun of the film. Likewise, Walls needed the product it had developed especially for the launch of the film to be represented in a credible manner. Less than three weeks before the film launch, we had our first meeting with all the parties. There was clearly a lot to cover, so the dialogue began with an open forum. Visionary thinking was needed, especially considering the timing and a relatively modest budget. The most important thing any supplier can do at this stage is listen. With a tight deadline, and so many parties involved, there may not be another chance. If something is missed, it could cost Did four clients and one tight deadline give MD of design agency Helix 3D, Brian Dowling, brain freeze on the set of an Ice Agebrand experience? Recreating the Ice Age was snow picnic Welcome to Ice Age 3: the visitors entered here to begin their journey