In the fall of 2020, Nordstrom looked to capitalize on the growing pandemic-era popularity of drive-in movie events to help promote its curbside pickup service and give guests a fun and family-friendly holiday experience. We had already been tapped to produce a series of drive-in experiences at Caruso’s iconic shopping destination, The Grove, so we worked with Nordstrom and Netflix around the premiere of The Christmas Chronicles 2 to create a holiday-themed drive-in experience. The one-night event would be based on Nordstrom’s Make Merry holiday campaign, giving guests a unique opportunity to try the brand’s curbside service while taking in a movie from the comfort, safety, and warmth of their car.
The screening took place on the top floor of The Grove’s parking structure - eight stories high - with sweeping views of Los Angeles in all directions. In order to execute the drive-in, we worked with state and local officials on creating a safe environment for guests and staff while adhering to all protocols.
We designed every aspect of the experience with the understanding that the vantage point would be from within a vehicle. As soon as guests emerged on the 8th floor, they were transported to a Nordic winter wonderland with immersive decor, lighting, and holograms. Each guest received a hot meal package along with Nordstrom and movie-related swag from one of our elves.
Guests made their way through a series of drive-thru arches adorned with garland and lights, complete with a branded vignette, oversized presents, fully decorated trees, artificial snow, and decor pieces from the Nordstrom store itself, with all pieces integrating custom Make Merry campaign designs. The entryway was curated with shareability in mind, as passengers in each car captured the experience as they drove through.
After exiting the tunnel, staff guided cars to their optimal viewing position for the movie. A team of servers in branded masks delivered fresh hot chocolate to each car, as well as any curbside purchases.
We also projection-mapped the surrounding structures to look like Nordstrom presents and added custom uplights to the entire perimeter. Moving head beams below the screen shined upward to give that quintessential Hollywood premiere feeling.
As guests settled in, they enjoyed Make Merry-themed pre-show content, trivia about the film, a DJ, and a raffle for exclusive Nordstrom prizes. Guests enjoyed the movie on LA’s largest outdoor screen with clear audio coming through two radio channels, in addition to supplemental time-delayed audio outside the vehicle.
Throughout the final quarter of 2020, we produced five sold-out drive-in experiences at The Grove, with each one topping out at roughly 150 cars. We continued to set the benchmark for safe and impactful drive-in immersive guest experiences.