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Cirque du Soleil: Volta launch by Empower

Agency: Empower
Date: Jun 2019
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Cirque du Soleil, the largest theatrical producer in the world, sought out creative media agency, Empower, among other local partners, to launch its most contemporary show: Volta. Together, they transformed Chicago’s most popular urban neighborhoods of Lakeview, West Loop and Wicker Park with a nightly series of public art projections, interweaving scenes from the show with custom 3D art.

A QR code led people to the Cirque du Soleil’s ticketing page and street teams complemented efforts. Building excitement, intrigue and organic word-of-mouth, all experiential efforts paved the way for a grand celebration at Art on theMART, the largest permanent digital art projection in the world. This climatic finale projects onto the entire 2.5-acre façade of Art on theMART creating a street art display as breathtaking as the Volta show itself.

Cirque du Soleil is the first company to execute this type of street projection mapping in Chicago. Historically it’s only been activated in large commercial surface areas. Concepted by Empower, the agency partnered with Chicago Projection Mapping to produce three wheat paste-based installations in each neighborhood. The Cirque du Soleil Volta story is told in two parts. By day, the 2D black-and-white mural is in place, drawing the eye, but quickly becoming a part of daily life in the neighborhood. By night, the murals come to life with 3D illusion and animations, breaking the fourth wall of the audience's perception and expectations of street art.


Agency: Empower

Production: Chicago Projection Mapping

Client: Cirque du Soleil