The Urban Building Wrap Game

And why playing it can be music to advertisers’ ears.

Transform blank buildings and walls into works of art and extend brands into experiential spaces with 3M graphic films and overlaminates. Create stunning, picture-perfect wall graphics and building wraps for almost any surface including textured walls and smooth surfaces, inside and out.

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When it comes to winning football games, preparation and execution are two key factors. There are a lot of moving parts — namely large human bodies — realigning and making adjustments on the fly to evade or move other large bodies out of their way to the end goal.

Promoting professional football games doesn’t get any bigger than the National Football League’s (NFL) championship game in early February – the “super” international event that cannot be named for fear of trademark infringement. We have, however, received permission to share with WFS readers some slick images of the building wraps that were employed three months ago in Atlanta for the big game tagged with Roman numeral LIII.

Sharing photos and messages is one of the major benefits that lures advertisers to massive-scale building wraps. That’s because wrapping a building is an event in itself. “Observers are curious during the installation process,” says Hayes Holzhauer, executive VP of operations at bluemedia, a national signage company. His firm is based in Tempe, Arizona, but Holzhauer spent a lot of time this past January in Atlanta, where the big game was played.

“People want to take ‘selfies’ in front of the branded buildings and post them to their social-media accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook,” he notes. NFL marketers have a name for the online, viral effect: “They call the free advertising ‘sharable moments,’” Holzhauer adds. (Consumers of a certain age similarly will recall the “Kodak moments” analog (television) ad campaign from the 1980s.) People who share online links to this article, for example, are helping to indirectly promote the NFL football and Budweiser beer brands.

No more “Dilly Dilly”

The fictional Bud Light Knight surprisingly was slain by an HBO “Game of Thrones” dragon in a dual-branding duel/TV commercial during the super game on the evening of Sunday, February 3. Before his demise, the adult beverage marketers at Bud Light and creative agency Wieden + Kennedy (New York) had spent more than 18 months developing the knight’s character along with his humorous, medieval marketing kingdom. And there he was: larger than life on a building in Atlanta, wielding a mighty sword in his right hand and hoisting a football embossed with the official game logo in his left.

The imposing knight image “stood” more than 160 feet tall (1,945 inches from the waist up), wrapping around a corner of the skyscraper. The massive graphic was masked and diecut using a Zund G3 Digital Cutter, Holzhauer reports. The flat-bed machine features precise, Swiss engineering. Additional triangular signage above the imposing, armor-clad image spanned the entire, 200-foot building width.

The media selected for these “super” building graphics in Atlanta was EconoVue 70/30, a perforated, one-way window film manufactured by Clear Focus, a French company with North American sales run out of Chicago (Franklin Park, IL). “We printed them on a Durst 312r,” Holzhauer reveals. Durst Image Technology’s 312r model is a grand-format (3.2m), roll-to-roll UV inkjet printer equipped with proprietary, Quadro Array 12M print heads that feature more than 24,000 nozzles and employ Variodrop technology. A droplet size of 12 picoliters yields a resolution of up to 1,200 dots per inch (dpi).

Wasserman Media Group, a sports-marketing firm based in Los Angeles, was bluemedia’s client for this exciting project. On a slightly smaller scale, gondolas on the Centennial Park Ferris Wheel were wrapped with logos from each of the NFL’s 32 football teams. (SkyView Atlanta and the NFL was the combined clientele.)

Holzhauer could not talk with WFS for very long: He was busy on the phone, overseeing the large-format execution of vibrant, eye-catching graphics in Nashville that will help to generate excitement about the 2019 NFL Draft (April 25-27). The league appealed to its fan base five years ago, when it moved the pro draft from New York City to Chicago in 2015 and ’16. Since then it has been held in Philadelphia and Arlington, Texas.