Event TV: JWT reveals HSBC sound installation at Gatwick airport

J. Walter Thompson (JWT) unveiled an ambitious sound installation at Gatwick airport this week, commissioned by HSBC to celebrate its Water Programme and 15-year partnership with the WWF.

The ‘Living River’ installation at Gatwick, which goes live to the public tomorrow (12 November), features live recordings from across the 6,300km-long Yangtze River – one of five rivers in HSBC’s programme. The recordings have been used in the soundscape across the airport’s Skybridge.

Event Awards-winners JWT recorded more than 100 hours of material, sourced from 35 locations, in order to capture sounds from each stage of the river, from migratory birds and frogs, to the sound of the weather or clatter of local fishing boats on the river.

The sounds also react to the time of the day, the weather on the Yangtze, and even the movements of the travellers. A wall of colourful imagery marks the stages of the river and complements the sounds heard by travellers across the Skybridge.

The project, commissioned last year, has taken around 14 months to create, from initial conception to the point of going live, with 160 speakers and 80 channels of sound used in its creation.

Jonathan Terry, head of JWT Live said the agency wanted the sound experience to be different every time people walked across the bridge. The soundscape is divided into two parts - arrivals and departures - with five different sound zones created to signify the different stages of the river.

"HSBC has been synonymous with airports for many years; we looked to airports to bring to life HSBC’s water programme, pushing the boundaries of HSBC’s airside advertising and current technology. How best to tell the story of a 6,000km river and millions of people, in an airport? With sound," said Terry.

Chris Clark, group head of marketing, HSBC, added: "Our new Gatwick Skybridge installation pushes the boundaries of our brand experience at the airports further."

Guy Stephenson, chief commercial officer at Gatwick airport, said the installation was "a complete one-off" and "quite a unique experience".

More: Event Awards 2015 winners story - JWT

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