Overview: Today, young people spend less time enjoying urban parks and more time being entertained by the Internet and digital devices. When New York City’s Central Park wanted to engage a younger, more wired visitor, it created this outdoor mobile museum, offering an alternative way for tourists to interact with this iconic landmark. With mobile devices as the means for reinventing the park experience, visitors interact with the park by scanning Parkodes, custom QR-Codes that resemble digital trees. Each code revealed a question relating to the visitor’s exact location, turning the park into an interactive board game. Visitors unlock park secrets, famous movie scenes, views from the 1800s, and even hunted for a real-world Shakespeare in the park.
- The project required seven months of planning, research, writing and content creation; it contains more than 120 HTML interfaces with custom CSS for almost any Web-enabled device.
- An awareness campaign included interactive ads and TV spots using actual consumer generated media and ten park animals were used as event “spokespeople” on Facebook.
- The first World Park event opened to the public on Arbor Day weekend 2010. Over 1,500 participants used their mobile phones to scan more than 50 codes placed throughout the park.
Comments by Michael Ferrare
How did this project compare with others you’ve worked on in the past? “World Park was a rare opportunity created by our agency. We had just started Agency Magma in New York and wanted to do some-thing that lived up to our mission to be an integrated idea agency that solves problems by creating experiences—not just advertising. We created the concept and built a demo, then we showed it to the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and they were excited to test the idea. The design of the Parkodes was a really important step for us. We believe that great design makes change easier, so we challenged ourselves to introduce a new technology, like QR-Codes, in a proprietary and memorable way. The World Park isn’t a one-time event, it’s a product, a piece of intellectual property, a new event plat-form for brands to co-sponsor. It gives Central Park a new way to present itself in today’s marketplace; it also proves that we’re a next-generation idea agency.”
Undoboy/Jamie Victor, senior designers Kim Bartkowski/Will Thomsen, creative directors Michael Ferrare, executive creative director Connie Finkelman, senior developer Harlan Erskine/Josh Feuhner, photographers PHILLYK, director Adam Larossa, sound designer Jeremy Brown, integrated producer Ian Stout, retoucher Kristian Summerer, consultant Michael Obrien, fabricator Agency Magma (New York, NY), project design and development NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, client