Nike Air Max Day 2022

Dubai

Interactive technology | Custom audio system | Real time graphic generation | UX | Systems integration

Background

FIX8Group were approached by We Make to assist in them in providing technology to the HATTER Agency in their pitch to Nike for an in-store activation for their flagship Dubai store. The world’s largest Nike store was to be transformed throughout for five weeks, in support of Air Max Day 2022.

The challenge

The basis of the pitch was creating music from air and helping to connect younger audiences to the Nike Air Max brand.

The idea was to create a new, bespoke experience around a system conceived by We Make and HATTER to allow members of the public to mix their own music tracks which would generate a unique visual, known as a Sonic Stamp, to be shared or printed onto merchandise.

The first challenge was the timescales involved, with only four weeks between the pitch and the project going live, there was little margin for error and many moving parts had to work together seamlessly to ensure a successful outcome. Oh, and it was 3000 miles away.

There were no off the shelf systems to do what had had been proposed so we quickly assembled a team of experts to oversee several areas including bespoke audio sample creation, live generative video effects, a custom software audio mixing system and RFID control set up consisting of glass ‘air bubbles’ placed on a custom mixing desk.

What we were really being asked to create was a bespoke system made of several bespoke subsystems which all had to work together, making the task exponentially challenging.

The software was built here at FIX8Group HQ in Manchester, to work with a physical build in Dubai, with only a few days on site to implement and test.

Finally, everything had to be backed up by a cloud-based system to allow users to download the results of their session as a keepsake and allow the image to be served to Nike’s in store team to be printed onto merchandise.

The solution

The only way to succeed with a project of this nature is to divide it into manageable pieces and place dedicated, expert teams on sections, with tight overall project management allowing all subsystems to interact correctly with each other.

The skill sets of individuals played a huge part in allowing us to come up with possible configurations that would allow a workable solution.

After taking input from The HATTER Agency in look and feel of interface and content, we quickly settled on Notch as the basis of creating the real-time, generative motion graphics. Our dedicated audio team set about creating over 70 original music samples and atmospheric soundscapes to avoid copyright issues.

Since this installation was being built in a live retail environment, physical construction had to happen in a small window of time, which in turn meant all our implementation and testing on site had to be highly efficient, fortunately we were able to leverage our experience with elements such as RFID control systems and bespoke control systems to help with this.  

The larger physical systems like LED screens were supplied locally in Dubai, so we had to be confident our systems would integrate successfully on site, coupled with a very tight environment to install our technology, and conceal all the parts that make it work.

"Staggeringly stunning creations, a meticulous level of attention to detail & on time delivery. The 3 things I always receive when working with FIX8Group. From their open communication to the projects they deliver, it's always a pleasure to have them as our go to, cutting edge, audio visual production team.

Paul Collins, Managing Director, We Make Studio

Conclusion

In the end, the project went live without a hitch and was a huge hit with the public. The installation ran for over a month, with people returning to show others, generate new tracks and create their own merchandise.

It was hugely rewarding to see everything live and testament to the extended team who worked tirelessly to pull it all together and create something truly unique.

As with every project, we learn (perhaps more than usual here) and use that learning to take forward as experience for the future.

Everyone involved was thrilled to see this come to life, it was so well received in fact, we have been asked back to work on the next activation which is an ongoing project at the time of writing. For a closer look at the finished installation, take a look at the video below…

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Ben Hyman, Senior Project Manager

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Images courtesy of Nike & HATTER

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