Turning New York Yellow Cabs into new BMW iConcept Cars

This fine example of experiential marketing caught our eye recently. What better way to off your new car than to get it on the streets of one of the biggest cities in the world? That’s exactly what BMW did with the aid of some digital trickery, some rear projection film and a couple of projectors.

The “BMW i: A Window Into the Near Future” campaign uses a clever system of car tracking cameras and live rendered playback to turn a street-level window of the MetLife building into a digital reflection of real life, transforming passing traffic into BMW’s new all-electric i3 and plug-in hybrid i8 concept vehicles. The concept produces a glimpse of the future of automobile transportation.

The challenge of any day-light projection was not taken lightly by installation company, Fresh Air Flicks. The 12′ x 9′ screen was made using 3M Vikuti rear-projection film. Vikuiti is a product we’ve used on several projects from displaying video art to the public in Soho to window displays for leading fashion brands. It’s properties amplify the light from the rear projection and it’s dark surface improves contrast. It’s a great product but as the BMW team discovered, you still need a lot of projection power which was why they decided to take not one but two of Barco’s new 40K monsters. The HDQ-2K40 projectors are currently the worlds brightest projector.

Over the 9 days the installation was running a staggering 307,065 cars were morphed in front of New Yorkers. The window also calculated how much money would be saved in fuel and as a result the annual reduction in CO² emissions if each car was electric: $493 million in fuel savings and 1.3 million tons of CO².