By Awards Analyst | The Drum Awards

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Immigration article

December 7, 2021 | 4 min read

Factory 360 won ‘Community or Not-for-profit Experience’ at The Drum Awards for Experience with its vibrant, interactive exhibition for Stand Together. With eye-catching visuals and a strong community feel, Common Ground empowered visitors to lead important conversations in support of immigration. Here, the team behind this winning entry explains the thinking behind it.

Common Ground was a live, content-driven art installation that empowered our audience to lead a new conversation: that immigration benefits all Americans.

Common Ground showcased immigration’s benefits to our economy, our society, our communities, the nation’s security, our culture and our everyday lives, encouraging people to have a constructive conversation about it, there-and-then, reinforcing the message.

We created vibrant free-standing doors, and played video content touching on the different aspects of the immigration topic on screens inside the doors. We then gave our audience free food to sit down and take a moment to engage with one-another over the information they just saw.

Intriguing people with the doors, informing them with the video content, and engaging them with food led to constructive, rather than destructive, conversation that was naturally facilitated by the experience. There was no thoughtless shouting, no panicked rebuttals, no caps lock key and no logging off. It was a thoughtful environment that showed we are united on this country prospering, and therefore united on a more open immigration system.

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When it comes to immigration, we stand on common ground.

The doors were both a metaphor, and a self-initiated psychological nudge for our audience to open themselves up to the information they’re about to see. The twelve different and colorful doors were designed to represent the diversity of present-day America. The content inside the doors was designed to be short, concise and viewable in areas with a lot of noise pollution, to make for a compelling and consistent experience.

To further establish immigration as a positive impact on our audience’s lives, we had a food truck on-site giving out free food to people who interacted with the installation. Food trucks are often immigrant cuisines, and by supplying seating areas throughout the footprint, it added another conversation point to people’s table-side discussions about Common Ground.

We had different immigrant food trucks every day, new DJs for the morning and afternoon sessions, free enamel pins of one of the doors for people to show their support, and a photo booth with doors as the backdrop.

Our live installation was supported by a microsite that delivered the information to those unable to interact with the installation, as well as a geotargeted social and digital media campaign driving people to the live experience.

Results

We invited potential partners to participate in the Common Ground experience, where they recognized the importance of what we are trying to achieve. At the point of writing this, the entire experience has been duplicated for a second tour to travel to events with a high volume of our center-right demographic, as well as another light-weight touch-screen kiosk version to reach smaller events. 40 other partners are in discussions to expand the Common Ground experience.

We’re currently at 300% of our ROI, on top of our project being touted in the Washington Post, New York Times, National Review, NPR, Tennessean, WUSA9 and the Hill.

Common Ground seeks to make a difference in the real world. With the subject of immigration being as divisive as it is, online metrics are an unreliable reflection of positive impact due to societal pressures, the tendency to lack compassion and empathy when eye-contact isn’t available, and a commonly intense internet culture. Our physical installation has reached over 50,000 people, but our focus is on capturing a shift in people’s opinions after experiencing Common Ground, with qualitative data such as:

What our visitors said

“It’s great to open up the minds of myself and people like me”

“I’m going to engage with this idea of creating common ground”

“I didn’t realize how much of an impact immigrants have”

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Experience. To find out more, including which competitions are currently open for entry, visit The Drum Awards website.

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