BASF Fashion Show at the 1997 National Plastics Expo
- Brand Activations
Pioneering Experiential Marketing
“It was a highly collaborative project that included not only the BASF event team, but their engineering team and R&D staff who provided us with the latest plastic innovations to be included in the fashion show. The end product at the NPE was truly an experience for attendees before the term experiential had even hit mainstream.”
-Stephen Mapes, VP Strategy & Planning
With the objective to establish their leadership and innovation in the plastics industry, BASF asked Impact XM to create a unique trade show experience at the 1997 National Plastics Exposition. With this objective was the added challenge that the BASF exhibit space was located at the back of the exhibition hall, so serious buzz would need to be created to attract and draw attendees.
Fashioning a World of Innovative Solutions for Plastics
Impact XM experiential team developed a solution that focused on the promise of BASF innovation through a highly imaginative and engaging fashion show called “Planet Innovation.” Working closely with NY fashion designers, the creative possibilities of plastics was brought to life as couture for key BASF solution categories. For example, representing consumer goods, a woman wore fishing poles and skateboard covers; and a model wearing a dress made from plastic pens and over 300 individual computer keyboard keys represented the office products division. The automotive model feature paint chips centered on an actual Audi hood grill. One showstopper: an environmental costume resembling a psychedelic peacock, which was made of colorful carpet tufts that can be recycled into plastic beads.
This one-of-a-kind fashion show featured an actual runway in the middle of the booth. In the show, an MC narrated the story of BASF innovation and how they bring their customers products to life through plastics. To maximize time spent in the booth, the fashion show stage was surrounded by a café area where the crowds amassed, and attendees could relax and enjoy a cappuccino in their new reusable recycled plastic mug while watching the unique fashion show unfold. In an era where plastic recycling was a relatively new concept, BASF agreed that the fashion show was a clever way to educate attendees on its technological advances and prove that plastic has endless applications.
“It was a highly collaborative project that included not only the BASF event team, but their engineering and R&D staff who provided us with the latest plastic innovations to be included in the fashion. The end product at the NPE was truly an experience for attendees before the term experiential had even hit mainstream.” Stephen Mapes, VP Strategy & Planning.
As a result of the fashion show, BASF attracted considerable attention on and off the show floor which positioned the brand as a key innovator in the industry. They seized more than 1,100 leads and reported a 40-percent increase in overall booth traffic when compared to the previous year. Furthermore, the fashion show received national news coverage on CNN, NBC, and FOX News which extended the reach for the brand and project well beyond the show floor.
This pioneering experiential project went on to earn one of the first ever Exhibitor Magazine Sizzle Awards for the creative and unexpected approach to a traffic builder promotion for a trade show exhibit. This project has since been recognized as a prime example of a timeless promotional tactic that was recently resurfaced in the 25th anniversary of the Exhibitor Sizzle Awards – access the full issue here