Otis Elevators – ‘Made to Move’

Otis Elevators – ‘Made to Move’


Agency: RTH plc

Client: Otis Elevator Company

Event Name: China International Import Expo (CIIE) 2020

Agency Website: www.rthgroup.co.uk

The Brief

Otis’s strapline is “Made to move you” and refers to emotional touch as well as physical movement; and along with the mantra “Taller, Faster, Smarter” was woven through their storytelling brief.

We would design their 400sqm stand to tell the Otis story using these inspirations over four zones and 2.5 floors. The centre pieces being a fully operational escalator and lift to bring the story dramatically to life. These would take visitors to and from a viewing platform, where stunning video walls and mirror walls displayed a rooftop cityscape.

The creative ideas would be grounded in the products through the key themes of digitisation, innovation, and user-centric technologies, like the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and AI. At Otis’s first participation at this event, it was vital they made a strong impression on the 300,000+ visitors who would attend.

The brief presented a unique technical challenge in stand design, to accommodate the operational lift and escalator, while COVID safety added ongoing complications. These included travel restrictions, which meant the project had to be managed remotely over three time zones; stand design to facilitate COVID-safe people flow and social distancing; and exhibit displaying, which minimised contact with surfaces.

The Solution and Activation

We have successfully worked with Otis before, including in China at the 2018 World Elevator and Escalator Expo (WEE). They were so pleased, that it was the starting point for the creative solution to this 2020 stand.

Even so, the addition of a fully working lift and escalator on a temporary stand represented quite a challenge – one that would influence the design of the whole 400sqm space.

The overall creative idea was to take delegates on a complex journey through four sections, which told the Otis story: from it’s proud history and track record, right the way up to it’s latest cutting-edge technology.

The first section was the welcome area, dominated by two striking towers, which immediately resonated with Otis’s mantra of “Taller, Faster, Smarter”. Here, there was a welcome desk and exhibits that told the Otis story so far, providing helpful context for visitors.

Up into the second section, where the narrative shifted to some of Otis’s latest world-leading innovation. To move the story on, the setting changed to have people feel like they were immersed in a skyscraper. With the presence of the lift entrance, it mirrored a lobby area. This created a real-world platform to showcase the products.

Particularly timely, given the pandemic, their gesture control technology was on display, which allows people to call lifts with simple sweeps of the hand. VIPs could also understand how they could specify their product orders aesthetically and technologically in this part of the stand.

Every good story needs a twist and, at this point, delegates in the busy exhibition hall were going to get one. With seemingly nowhere to go, they would enter a lift and be transported to another level. The lift was kitted out with a video ceiling to give passengers a heightened sense of movement, as they were taken up to an immersive viewing platform above. Disembarking, they suddenly appeared to be on a faraway rooftop, looking out on a stunning skyscraper vista, thanks to state-of-the-art video walls and well positioned mirrors.

Delegates were brought back to ground level literally and metaphorically using the latest escalator technology, where they concluded their visit with a look at yet more cutting-edge tech – this time Otis’s Internet of Things (IoT) display.

As you would expect, COVID-19 posed significant challenges to both the planning and execution. We’re really pleased to have met these head on and delivered a stand that showed no discernible compromise.

For example, touch screen technology was still used but with individual Otis presenters using styluses to reduce contact. Three robots which were originally intended to serve drinks, were still able to feature and wow visitors, but as contactless concierges. And while the fourth section was originally intended to be conference rooms, social distancing measures required airier space. It actually made for a more open stand, with better asset visibility and a continuation of the storytelling into a final chapter.

The Otis story at CIIE was intricately planned and executed to give visitors full exposure to its current and future products and services throughout dedicated zones. Hosted presentations, digitised product manipulation, info graphics and fully operational products gave every visitor an unforgettable experience.

The Results

Months of hard work and complex planning paid off and the show went without a hitch. This was extra pleasing given the backdrop of the pandemic. But through channels like Zoom, WeChat, WhatsApp, live stand cameras, Webex and good old-fashioned email, we overcame the physical limitations on travel and contact to communicate effectively on a daily basis. We’ve never known a project of this scale and complexity to be managed remotely before.

The stand was a great success for Otis. Thousands of professional visitors were recorded during the event to experience the Otis story in all its glory.

The impact was considerably enhanced by social media exposure and media coverage. More than one million social exposures and approximately 17,000 engagements were monitored, while about 1,500 media clippings were captured, including several for China Central TV.

With it’s keynote stage and extensive dazzling AV, the stand proved a striking setting for a range of media engagements as well as a much-viewed webcast. Journalists were able to conduct interviews and experience the storytelling journey to see Otis’s market-leading products and cutting-edge technology.

Commercially, the stand delivered return on investment too. A $2 million handshake was completed on day one, and further orders were anticipated. In an added twist, one key customer liked the exhibits so much they purchased most of them after the show to recreate in their own showroom!

Otis were delighted, indicating that they are looking forward to working with us on future events.