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The Visionary Group

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2013 American Business Awards

Company: The Visionary Group, Los Angeles, CA
Company Description: TVG is a unique concept in marketing specializing in event design and production, brand integration and experiential activations. Located in Los Angeles, Visionary Group is the brainchild of Brian Diamond and Rob Badgley.
Nomination Category: Live Event Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Consumer Event

Nomination Title: Microsoft New Store Openings

The date on which this nominated production was first presented:

The nominated production campaign was first presented in 2009 and has continued annually. The Visionary Group successfully produced six Microsoft Store Openings in 2011.

Briefly describe the nominated event's objectives and how it met those objectives (up to 500 words).

The primary objective for the Microsoft Store during Grand Opening Weekend is for the brand to establish a close relationship with existing consumers, potential consumers, and the local market by creating a memorable experience for guests, positioning the space as an exciting, active environment and driving traffic to the store. The celebrity appearance and performance generates buzz in the local community, building awareness about Microsoft’s arrival. Microsoft’s goal is to target the entire community, existing and potential customers alike, and become the first store each individual thinks of for their technology needs.

Specifically, during openings, Microsoft is targeting in-the-know young adults from 16-24 as well as their parents who use their technology at work and at home. Grand Opening weekends begin with a ribbon cutting ceremony signifying the start of a new relationship with the community, and features appearances from Microsoft Corporation executives, local political leaders, and community figures. Microsoft also recognizes local charity organizations with a donation.

Customers are constantly engaged with a live DJ, giveaway prizes, and branded SWAG items; all driving traffic and interest to the store. Following a countdown and curtain drop, the customers are led through a tunnel of cheering store associates to receive tickets to the celebrity performance. Previous talent includes: The Black Keys, Miley Cyrus, Dave Matthews Band, and Joe Jonas. During the evening of Opening Day, an in-store Kinect event takes place with a local celebrity athlete. Customers play Kinect alongside their favorite athlete and receive a signed photo.

Grand Opening Weekend culminates with an hour-long celebrity performance that takes place on site, usually in the sightline of the store. Customers enter the concert area 3-4 hours prior to the performance while a DJ entertains them, food is provided, and additional SWAG is handed out. Event staff is always on hand starting the night before the Grand Opening and is ready to answer questions, solve problems, serve food and coffee, and provide entertainment. The audience always comments on and enjoys the extent to which they are taken care of throughout the weekend. For example, a customer posted the following on Microsoft’s Facebook page, “To everyone at the Microsoft store thank you so much! In the end it was worth all the waiting and I was treated so nice by your entire staff.” The Visionary Group strives to please not only the customers but also the Microsoft Store internal team.

Working over multiple launches we have become not just a vendor, but also a true extension of the brand. Lindsay Baugh, Launch Event Manager of the Microsoft Stores, sums up Visionary’s involvement, "I always introduce The Visionary Group as Microsoft's right-arm and a truly integrated partner. If it weren't for their dedication and commitment to continuously improving each and every Microsoft Store opening, we wouldn't be where we are at today. The boutique production company is a well-oiled machine committed to delivering a world-class experience for both the Microsoft Stores and more importantly, our customers."

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List the appropriate creative and production credits for this entry: Advertising Agency/City: Client: Art Director: Cinematographer: Creative Director: Designer: Director: Illustrator/City: Music Producer/City: Photographer/City: Printer/City: Producer: Production Company/City: Programmer: Writer: Web Development Firm/City:

Special thanks to shopping malls and surrounding stores in:

Lenox Square, Atlanta GA
South Coast Plaza, Santa Ana CA
Houston Galleria, Houston TX
Westfield Century City, Los Angeles CA
University Village, Seattle WA
Westfield Valley Fair, San Jose CA
Tysons Corner Center, Tysons Corner Washington D.C.

Vendors:

Access Pass and Design- Matrix Laminations
Aggreko- Electrical Generators
Ahern- Production truck rentals
Attack!- Staffing company
CORT Furnishings- Furniture
Costco- Camper food; Water and Clif Bars
Creative Graphic Services- Signage, posters, banners, branding
Fingerprint- Public Relations
Special Event Management- Security
Precision Dynamics Corporation- Wristbands
Waste Management- Portable Restrooms

Performances:

American Idol Contestants- Atlanta
Kelly Clarkson- Houston
Selena Gomez- South Coast Plaza
Nick Jonas- Century City
OneRepublic- University Village
Joe Jonas- Valley Fair, Tysons Corner
The Black Keys- University Village, Valley Fair
DJ Politik- Events DJ

Kinect Athletes:

Edgar Martinez
Cal Ripken
Joe Montana
Kasey Keller
Lamar Odom