It’s the weirdest thing. As you walk down 48th St. towards Broadway in New York City’s Times Square, a lipstick-red "W" hangs over the entrance to the W Hotel. But, if you glance back as you pass, the sign seems to disappear into the building’s facade.
The subtle trompe l’oeil effect perfectly suits Times Square, where several outstanding spectaculars emerged in this year’s crop of new signage.
Hershey’s, an internationally known confectionery manufacturer and distributor, commissioned a spectacular that’s the largest sign ever placed within Times Square. Hanging on the side and lower-roof levels of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, facing south towards the bowtie (where Broadway crosses Seventh Ave.), 19 different types of signs represent existing packaging of various Hershey brands.
The sign was designed by Times Square market leader Clear Channel Spectacolor (New York City), which operates in the United States, Europe and Asia. Brand Identification Group, which is part of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising (New York City), contributed to the design.
The Hershey spectacular has been fully integrated into the building’s design as a form of "experiential advertising," explained Mike McGraw, Spectacolor’s director of spectacular development. He said, "The spectacular is built in tiers, taking advantage of the building’s facades and lower-roof levels for mounting purposes. It also gives the illusion of being a factory, which becomes the foundation of the Hershey display."
Placed on the southeast corner of the hotel, the spectacular’s construction reflects a collaboration between several companies. Atomic Props (St. Paul, MN) created two smokestacks, 28 Kisses, a Jolly Rancher wind vane, the cocoa-cup prop and 510 ft. of factory piping. Multimedia (Rancho Cordova, CA) contributed the Hershey LED message readerboard, and North Shore Neon (Deer Park, NY) manufactured the remaining sign parts and installed the entire sign onto the Crowne Plaza building.
Each 3-ft. Kiss was sculpted from Styrofoam
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