As Real As It Gets: Digital Installation Brings Madame Tussauds Experience to Life at ‘The Crossroads of the World’

A giant new LED screen in New York City will give the tens of millions of annual visitors to Times Square – ’the crossroads of the world’ – the chance to see inside Madame Tussauds. 

The attention-grabbing 13 ft. by 12 ft. LED screen, which was installed on June 19th, is visible from 42nd Street. It is already proving to be a big hit with visitors to Times Square to enjoy a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the Madame Tussauds experience.

The project brief from Madame Tussauds (part of Merlin Entertainments Group) to Banner Managed Communication (BMC), its global marketing and communications agency, was to increase the attraction’s cut-through and audience share within the intensively competitive New York tourist scene. BMC brought in its digital experience design partner, OpenEye Global, a world leader in conceiving and delivering innovative visual technology projects, to create the experience from the eyes of the visitor. OpenEye also enlisted Scala and NanoLumens for content management and display installation, forming a solid team of expertise.

The Madame Tussauds and OpenEye teams developed a content strategy highlighting the brushes with fame (and infamy!) that could only happen inside Madame Tussauds. Using actors and a green screen to film reactions to their encounters with Madame Tussauds’ stars, crowds outside could get a real taste of the fun that awaits them inside.

Davey Barrett, Head of Product Development, Midway Attractions, North America at Merlin Entertainments plc said:

“BMC and OpenEye have helped us find a truly innovative way of communicating and visualizing the experience of visiting Madame Tussauds to a vast, untapped audience. We’re undoubtedly achieving our primary objective of grabbing the attention of many more visitors to Times Square. The 4.5MM digital display from NanoLumens delivers impeccable clarity and brightness essential in creating an invigorating experience.”

Catherine Burke, Managing Director of Banner Managed Communication, said:

“Creative thinking and leading-edge technology have combined here to inject new life and contemporary relevance into an attraction with a heritage stretching back almost 250 years.

The project is a perfect example of why we’ve partnered with OpenEye. They provide precisely the blend of digital innovation and execution expertise which BMC clients are looking for.”

Bryan Meszaros, CEO, OpenEye commented:

“It was clear to us that many people’s perception of Madame Tussauds lags way behind the modern-day reality. So our focus was on creating content and using technology to visualize and bring to life the Madame Tussauds experience, emphasizing what an incredibly dynamic and interactive attraction it is for visitors.”

Dina Townsend, Vice President of Retail, Scala commented:

“The Madam Tussaud’s deployment is an excellent example of collaborative, best in class, digital engagement that seamlessly integrates technologies, form factors, platforms and strategic vision.

From the Scala perspective, our content management platform was leveraged to deliver digital signage as well as the #MTSelfie social media experience. Using the Scala platform as a true customer experience engine allowed Madam Tussaud’s to integrate a variety of digital experiences all engaging the consumer across channels in new and unexpected ways, but all managed from a single and extensible console to provide the best possible outcomes in a most efficient delivery model.” Dina Townsend, VP of Retail at Scala.

Burt Smith, Executive Vice President of NanoLumens commented:

“New York’s Times Square is arguably the busiest intersection in the world,” emphasized NanoLumens Executive Vice President of Business Development Burt Smith.  “Thousands of retailers, hotels, theaters, restaurants, bars and tourist attractions compete for the attention —and the business— of the millions of consumers who flock to this intersection every year.  Creating an engaging visualization solution that can work with the design limitations of any existing space in New York City is not an easy task for most solutions providers — except NanoLumens.  Our unique ability to listen to the Madame Tussaud team and design a solution in the shape, size, and curvature that works for them is what won the day.  We are very proud to have been a part of this very exciting project.”