Home |  CONTACT US | 
Print Email Page RSS Feeds

Posted Date: 01/5/2015

Commercial Holiday Décor Makes Seasons Bright & Interactive

According to the National Retail Federation (www.nrf.com), the average holiday shopper was planning on spending up to $804.42 in 2014 and holiday sales in November and December were expected to reach $616.9 billion. Amidst this surge in consumer spending, commercial designers and installers have seen a definite increase in cities and malls decorating for the holidays. “Since patrons are once again out and about and spending more money on Christmas it’s more important than ever that properties keep up with the mindset shift,” Nicole Cintron, creative manager, Dekra-Lite Industries, Inc., states.

Frank Joens, senior vice president/general manager for LA Mart reveals that the holiday marketplace is seeing the rise of townships and municipalities incorporating commercial holiday displays. “Where this was once Main Street’s or a chamber of commerce’s domain, cities large and small are realizing the importance of making their respective shopping neighborhoods exciting and festive to draw in the consumer to their areas to shop,” Joens notes. “As technology in the outdoor mechanicals and lighting space improves, we are seeing more and more attention to commercial décor.”

CenterStageProductions1-(1).jpgNext-Gen Tech Game Changers
The most notable emerging trend in commercial holiday décor for 2015 is integrating technological components into traditional holiday vignettes allowing customers to actually be a part of the holiday décor, creating a fully immersive experience.  This may be achieved by building a holiday themed virtual reality experience right into Santa’s home or even using large-scale holiday trees to display guests’ real-time selfies, both methods being taken by Center Stage Productions (CSP). Taking the captivating experience one step further, social media components are built directly into commercial holiday décor, allowing people to share “selfies” right from the Santa set.

The Interactive Holiday Tree from CSP features a camera incorporated within the base of the tree that gives guests an opportunity to snap selfies while waiting for their big moment with Santa. Shoppers can then choose to upload their photos to monitors set inside oversized ornaments which adorn the tree. The pics can also be shared socially and via email, ultimately creating an extension of the venue’s digital marketing efforts.  Even better, monitors also provide valuable exposure for sponsors. “This is not only fun, but functional too as this strategy has the power to extend the venue’s digital reach, achieving marketing goals,” notes Brenda Tietjen, director of marketing, Center Stage Productions.

dekralite915.jpgDekra-Lite has also expanded its offerings with a line of animated displays — Polar Bear Jamboree and Santa’s Workshop. “These scenes enable children and guests to activate and control the motion,” Nicole Cintron, creative manager for Dekra-Lite Industries, Inc. reveals. “Even though these elements are not as high-tech as our RGB trees, there is still a place for them in nostalgic and traditional displays plus children love them!”

Lighting Plays Up Technological Advances
RGB lighting continues to gain momentum as holiday lighting techniques for big light shows are starting to ”merge” with traditional theatrical lighting techniques. “We have been excited for a couple of years now about some developing technology that brings the use of RGB lighting into the interactive space in a consumer friendly package and at a reasonable price point,” Darren Vader, of Extreme Lightscapes admits. His company is installing several kiosks in 2014 that have an iPad in them and allow visitors to control the lights on a small grouping of trees or a single larger tree, and in one case even a group of butterfly sculptures. “Visitors can control the colors of the lights, select a song to watch the lights dance to and even play a game very similar to the old ‘Simon Says’ color picking game and actually interact with the display,” Vader explains.

RGB technologies lend themselves to programmable and interactive displays. Similarly, Dekra-Lite Industries is continuing its development of RGB trees for 2015 including a line of pre-programmed trees in 20-foot, 24-foot and 30-foot sizes. “We believe our RGB trees will be big next year,” Cintron states. “These trees will take the extra work out of having to work with a third party developer to get a show for your property and also avoid song licensing fees which can be costly and a nuisance to our customers,” The preprogrammed trees have five song options and run through basic animations until they “perform” in time with the music selected. Buyers can also purchase custom RGB trees and Dekra-Lite plans to expand the program to more trees that are connected to garland and wreaths so the entire décor package is animated.

Similarly, CSP is expanding on using the latest lighting technologies to encourage audience participation. In 2014, the company tested a giant interactive LED light wall where visitors control the lights and colors with just a touch.  “When this touch is detected the wall responds with mesmerizing light displays fostering children’s action/reaction skills,” Tietjen says. “This dynamic interactive wall has been built into Santa’s new home.”

CSP is also introducing its Color Changing RGB Illumination Tree. Inside globe-shaped ornaments, red, green and blue LED lights are programmed to come together and transform to produce a broad array of colors, creating a captivating display of illumination. For added fun, the base of the tree features three interactive games including “Pick a Holiday Tune” Juke Box, a digital interactive LED light wall and a holiday themed match game.

Themes & Schemes
Overall, suppliers admit that commercial décor for malls and shopping centers tends to be focused on specific themes, while commercial décor in business districts are centered on traditional holiday schemes. Commercial décor for retail will also vary to support specific marketing and branding messages.

globalconcept915.jpgMany retailers and municipalities are concerned about getting the most out of holiday displays. This has resulted in the popularity of multi-secular, wintery schemes to appeal to more people and for a longer period of time. “It is an economic necessity,” stresses Olivier Deflines, of Globall Concept. “Our customers must be able to remunerate their decorations for several seasons, while not appearing outdated.” Deflines continues to express that traditional themes persist as the most popular because they portray key values for holiday shoppers, while limiting risk-raking for merchants.

Global Visual Group’s Marchetti agrees that classic themes that have at least three to five years of longevity remain the top priority for clients. “We can also take something ‘on trend’ that coincidently is timeless,” she says, referring to the pervasive popularity of the film Frozen. Winter wonderland themes have been strong because they can extend beyond Christmas and are not religious-specific, but since Frozen came out, commercial suppliers have received even more requests for the theme.

As elsewhere in holiday décor, commercial color schemes are also driven by current fashion trends. “Big trends are in new color combinations that come from the fashion runway such as mixing blues that play into the winter theme and interesting jewel tone hues that evoke energy,” Cintron reflects.

Craig Fick, display consultant at Bronner’s Commercial Display (www.bronners
) states that it’s important for commercial display themes to have a connection to the area. This will appeal to and resonate with buyers. “We also are seeing more requests for retro décor from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s,” he says. “Ultimately however, it’s most important to have a WOW factor and to stay within budget.”

Cintron goes on to explain that it’s imperative for designers to approach every job differently and listen to clients’ wants and needs. “Our clients are more familiar with their patrons and demographic and know what will speak to them best,” she stresses. Cintron explains that business districts usually require a more non-denominational type of program, meaning red and green probably aren’t important to their color scheme, they would opt for monochromatic metallic colors like gold and silver or perhaps blues and teals to celebrate winter instead of a religious holiday. Malls or shopping centers on the other hand want décor that will excite and get people talking, often opting for more daring and cutting-edge décor.

“As in the fashion world, commercial décor is a perpetual work of creation and renewal,” Deflines says.

Rate this Content (5 Being the Best)

0 1 2 3 4 5

Current rating: 3/5 (2)