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Vector and Colenso BBDO light up Auckland Harbour Bridge to tell the story of renewable energy

The Vector Lights will signal the City of Sails’ long-term movement towards a sustainable future and to tell that story, Colenso BBDO was brought in to help.

It worked with film company Content Boutique to create a series of videos that tell the story of how the bridge has been fitted with 90,000 individually programmable LED lights, powered by 248 solar panels on North Wharf.

The energy is stored in a Tesla Powerpack battery farm the size of a shipping container at Wynyard Quarter and its instalment is an ongoing reminder of the power of sustainable energy. It shows how one small, culturally and environmentally-led project can lead to a positive change for Kiwis.

And the solar-powered spectacle is not a one-off. It’s a demonstration of what can be achieved with renewable energy, part of a wider 10-year smart energy partnership between Vector and Auckland Council.

About the bridge being lit up, creative group head at Colenso BBDO Maria Devereux says seeing bridges lit up isn’t new, but what makes this project unique is that the Auckland Harbour Bridge is now powered entirely by the sun.

“Our creative challenge was to find an equally unique way to launch Vector Lights. Instead of just creating a visual extravaganza, we wanted to exercise some creative restraint and see how little we needed to tell a story. With the invaluable help of Jonny Koefed, Dan Mace, and Mahuia Bridgeman-Cooper, we feel like we’ve created something pretty exciting.”

The project is similar to a 2degrees campaign that saw the Auckland Harbour Bridge light up to music.

Created with Special Group, the campaign celebrated the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6, by connecting two kilometres of LED lights to Google Play Music. To get involved, punters could choose a song that would sync with the lights.

Special Group managing partner Michael Redwood congratulates Vector and ATEED for making lights on the bridge a permanent enhancement to Auckland’s cityscape.

“It was a lot of hard work from everyone here at Special Group to get the lights first on the Harbour Bridge two years ago for 2degrees Play the Bridge. There were multiple technical and regulatory hurdles to overcome as you can imagine – it is after all State Highway One,” he says.

“Allowing people to synch their mobile phones to it and make the lights interact to their favourite tracks was a challenging technical feat, and a real innovation. We’re looking forward to seeing the idea come to life again.”

Vector Lights transformed the Waitemat? and became a guiding light toward a smart energy future last weekend, with a light show accompanied by a soundtrack, broadcasted live on Coast 105.4FM.

Creative agency – Colenso BBDO
Production & Animation company – Assembly
Jonny Kofoed / Dan Mace – Motion Design & Director
Music composition: Franklin Rd
Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper – Composer
Production & Lighting design: MandyLights
Content production: Flare BBDO / Content Boutique

Vector: Beth Johnson – Customer Communications Manager
Auckland Council: Adam Prentice – Strategic Projects Director

A version of this story first appeared at StopPress.
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