Be unexpected, or be invisible

April 9, 2019 - Posted by Aesthetic

Number of impressions have been a core metric of advertising success over the past decades, but savvy marketers know that impressions alone fall squarely within the ‘vanity metric’ category. That is, metrics that look good but don’t mean a great deal. Whether advertising out of home, on television and traditional media, or through digital channels, people are exceptionally good at filtering out information that doesn’t mean anything to them, such as ads. Broadly this is a consequence of selective attention, which prevents people from becoming overstimulated – humans are only able to process a limited amount of information at any given time. With the rise of the internet people became quickly adept at ‘not seeing’ online advertising, termed ‘banner blindness‘, and despite promising early signs that content marketing would be the solution to cut-though, the ensuing flood of content has resulted in people tuning out of that too (content blindness). Once again marketers are up against the challenge of demonstrating the ROI of their marketing strategies when people aren’t paying attention.

A cleverly designed space that thoughtfully considers the needs of the audience will pique people’s interest enough to trigger an interaction.

Enter ‘quality of attention’ as the new currency of effective marketing with researchers measuring the length of attention, word of mouth, and sharing of the message by third parties/media. Unsurprisingly, experiential marketing ranks highly in terms of its ability to capture quality attention, as experiences are designed for engagement and share-ability. Furthermore, for something to break through daily routines and floods of stimuli, a person’s expectations should be disrupted. In our recent blog Memorable experiences that build momentum, we share some examples of campaigns that have captured attention and succeeded at becoming memorable through delivering something unexpected.

Creating an unexpected experience can seem like a daunting, undefinable challenge, but with a creative approach and strategic uses of the environment any brand can use this strategy to build genuine connections with their audience. Nor does an unexpected experience require high-tech solutions and smoke and mirrors to pull people in, instead a cleverly designed space that thoughtfully considers the needs of the audience will pique people’s interest enough to trigger an interaction, which is of far greater value than an anonymous impression.
Temporary structures are a fantastic way to transform an environment, and at Aesthetic we love the challenge of creating something unexpected in familiar locations. They can also have the additional benefit of being re-usable and transportable, which can help get more mileage out of your investment.

We’re always on the look out for examples of clever spatial design that raises the bar and challenges us to develop even better solutions. Below are some examples of solutions that we love for their ingenuity.


Trienniale Bruges pavilion

A floating pink vinyl pavilion that flamboyantly contrasts the surrounding historical buildings.

A unique sunbathing platform

Transparency plays on light and shadow

Radia Lumia

Designed for the festival famous for temporary installations – Burning Man, and carefully engineered to avoid the risk of “a spiky tumble weed rolling across the desert.”

Inspired by the microscopic protozoa Radiolaria

An origami sculpture with 100,000 LEDs

Second Dome

An installation for community events in London Fields that responds to the needs of the environment, and which transforms from a 65-square-meter bubble, to a multi-room structure of over 400-square-meters.

Easily adaptable with 17 different configurations

The pneumatic structure requires very little energy

Head in the Clouds Pavilion

A gathering space for a summer exhibition in New York, this space for contemplation was built from 53,780 recycled bottles – reflecting the amount thrown away each hour in NYC.

Light filters through an undulating cloud like roof

Bottles with coloured water create organic patterns

Mirage Pavilion

Reflective plastic fragments and reflects the surrounding forest in a simple but visually arresting installation at a music festival.

A 23-metre wall, woven from 1,200 plastic diamonds

The wall visually disintegrates into the environment

Origami Pavilion

An origami inspired structure made entirely from over 500 recycled plastic polyhedrons, which were laser cut and hand folded to form the interlocking structure.

The plastic is lightweight and structurally efficient

LED lights transform the structure at night

Bamboo Pavilion

Originally conceived for a socio-religious festival in Hooghly, West Bengal, India, the pavilion was made from locally sourced bamboo and hand painted by volunteers.

The bamboo was painted as a cheaper alternative to LEDs

Halogen lights and reflective vinyl lit the pavilion at night

Pavilion Martell

This entirely recyclable pavilion completely transformed a large courtyard, creating dozens of spaces for people to congregate.

The lightweight design minimised transportation costs and material waste

The yellow cushions are filled with water to prevent the lightweight structure blowing away

Challenge us to create something completely unexpected – reach out through the form below, or call us on 03 9044 4353.