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Transforming everyday scenes into sparkling wonder for Evian | #BehindTheIdea

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Last month, Evian unveiled a dazzling pop-up immersive art installation in London created with multi-disciplinary artist and crystal lover, Sara Shakeel, to celebrate the launch of its long-awaited new sparkling water product.

Evian brought together its Global Brand Ambassador and the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year for 2021 Emma Raducanu alongside other notable guests. Guests were invited to explore the installation before enjoying an exhibition of Shakeel’s work.

Situated in the heart of London’s creative district in Shoreditch, the one-of-a-kind immersive art experience aimed to awaken the senses. Evoking the refreshingly light and effervescent sensation of the iconic brand’s new product, Shakeel demonstrated her unique and signature style, transforming everyday scenes into interactive and playful journeys for people to engage with through shared experiences.

This week, we caught up with Lucy Boyd, Creative + Culture Partner at Proud Robinson + Partners to discuss the idea itself, what made it work and why it represents perfect collaborative project.

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What was the brief?

The brief was to create a culture-first IRL experience to celebrate the launch of evian Sparkling in the UK.

How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

Wieden & Kennedy had already created a distinctive evian Sparkling aesthetic as part of the product launch comms, so Proud Robinson + Partners’ task was to translate this into an IRL format that brought to life this exciting new extension for the brand in the shape of a genuinely engaging, cultural experience. freuds (evian’s PR agency) secured a partnership with artist Sara Shakeel, famed for adding sparkle to iconic pop culture imagery.

As this was a London launch event, we devised a creative concept centered around a ‘sparkling & contemporary view’ of the iconic city. It was around this initial thought that we co-created the designs for the immersive exhibition alongside Sara Shakeel. 

What was the process behind ideating the concept? / What was the production process like? 

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Working closely with Sara Shakeel, we identified a number of everyday consumption scenarios where evian Sparkling could be enjoyed. From aboard a classic London bus to an afternoon tea scene, we transformed each scene into a sparkling vision using real crystals. We then designed an intricate maze of mirrors to create an infinite loop of sparkling reflections, designed to fully immerse the attendee in a world of sparkle.

The three-room art installation opened with a minimalist gallery space, featuring a single, illuminated evian Sparkling fridge, a hidden doorway to a world of sparkle. Inside the maze of infinity mirrors, guests were able to explore the installation space, create content at each of the six lifestyle scenarios; from aboard an iconic London Bus to a classic afternoon tea

What was the biggest challenge during production? How did you overcome it?

The painstaking process of applying the crystals! A dedicated team of fabricators worked around the clock with each bespoke piece created by hand, under the watchful gaze of Sara Shakeel, to ensure that every element was perfect.

Lighting is also incredibly important – perhaps as much as the crystals themselves – without this, you can easily lose the incredible impact of the sparkle effect. We worked long and hard on the perfect lighting state, working with the mirrored environment to really dramatise the effect that would translate into content captured in the experience. 

What is one funny or notable thing that happened during production?

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We had some fun with compact size mirrors and Lego people during the design & modelling stage whilst trying to perfect those all-important mirror angles! 

What’s the main message of this project and why does it matter?

The evian X Sara Shakeel experience was designed to encapsulate the essence of evian Sparkling - to elevate your experience whilst keeping you hydrated with its purity and freshness. The dazzling world of evian Sparkling invited guests on an interactive and playful journey at the heart of London’s creative district in Shoreditch, creating a cultural experience that brought evian Sparkling to life.

How long did it take from inception to delivery?

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The whole process took 12 weeks from start to finish, which speaks volumes about the amazing team we had given the intricate amount of detail work needed to get each of the sparkling elements right. 

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

Bringing to life evian Sparkling’s delicate sparkle, the installation was created to be unexpected, fun, and capture the imagination through its many experiential sparkling touchpoints – driving talkability and positive brand association

Credit list for the work?

Client: evian

Talent: Sara Shakeel

Creative & production agency: Proud Robinson + Partners

PR agency: freuds

Production Lead: Gill Taylorson

Account Lead: Sarah Poston

Creative Director: Lewis Robbins

Set Design: Lily Carver

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