Nickelodeon Design & Branding SPONGEBOB: ABSORBENT by Fitch

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Industry TV Channels/Radio Stations and Programmes
Media Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency Fitch
Executive Creative Director Christian Davies
Creative Director Eric Daniel
Art Director Chris Groll
Released September 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Exhibitions & Live Events
Agency: FITCH
Art Director: Chris Groll (Nickelodeon)
Vice President Of International Marketing: Susan Nave (Nickelodeon)
Executive Creative Director: Christian Davies (FITCH)
Creative Director: Eric Daniel (FITCH)
Design Director: Ryan Brazelton (FITCH)
Senior Designer: Erin Wilson (FITCH)
Client Manager: Romano Klepec (FITCH)
Vice President: Hart Johnson (Tivolitoo)
Director Of Technical Operations: Mark Deering (Tivolitoo)
Construction Project Manager: Anastasia Komarova (4vida)
Media placement: Absorbent Moscow - Flacon Design Plant - 16 September-2 October 2011

Describe the brief from the client
Blast off from Bikini Bottom! First stop Moscow. Nickelodeon wanted to raise the profile of 1 of the world’s best-loved cartoon characters, and give fans of all ages a chance to experience this wacky Porifera's positivity. They challenged us to create a venue that would take SpongeBob SquarePants around the world, reaching beyond the TV show’s traditional audience, and inviting people to reconnect with the iconic yellow sponge.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
Create a global event for SpongeBob, but do it in a way that breaks with convention.
• 2 months to design; 2 months to build
• an expectation of museum-quality craft, with dimensional materials
• We had to be conscious of the size and weight of all the pieces as they were being designed. It was possible that there might not be loading docks for trucks or wide/tall doorways.
• It was a given that kids and fans would understand the solution, but we wanted to create something that would appeal to people who didn’t know SpongeBob at all.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
Movie stars declare themselves fans. Fashion designers and artists say SpongeBob is their muse. He has been called the hippest cartoon on the planet. We were intrigued by the iconic character’s broad cultural relevance and his upbeat world view. People visit museums and galleries to 'soak-up' history, culture and art. That inspired us to translate the squeaky-clean character’s essence into unexpected works of art that would draw a broad audience.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
‘Absorbent’ is a travelling celebration of SpongeBob SquarePants that turns pop culture into pop art. Visitors see the world through 'yellow glasses,' and absorb the cartoon character’s influence on popular culture.

If proof were ever needed of the power of positivity: on Absorbent’s opening night, an auction generated $87,000 for the Naked Heart Foundation, a Russian charity that builds playgrounds for kids with special needs. The show is currently in Geneva, and will travel throughout Europe in 2012.