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BEST IN SHOW: Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Gardens

Submitted by: MG2/The Lionesque Group | Photography: Adrian Wilson, New York; B Floral, New York; Larry Pang, New York

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2023 International Visual Competition Awards

Temporary/Pop-Up Retail Space

NOW IN ITS 30TH consecutive year, VMSD’s International Visual Competition showcases exceptional displays of limited shelf-life. Like the past several competitions, there were a plethora of pop-ups and temporary retail activations submitted for consideration, and one such project took home the coveted Best in Show win for 2023: Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Gardens, designed by Seattle-based MG2 and The Lionesque Group.

Situated on New York’s High Line, and running from May 3-9, 2022, the 10,000-square-foot pop-up celebrated the Ohio-based retailer’s popular Bombshell perfume, which originally launched in 2010.

Victoria’s Secret Bombshell GardensABOVE: Because roughly 50 percent of its footprint was under the tunnel, potential weather conditions had to be factored in for this temporary, outdoor retail experience.

Located between 14th and 16th Streets, the elevated park was transformed into an experience drenched in fresh-cut florals – 58,000 stems to be exact (sourced both internationally and locally), many of them Jules Elie and Sarah Bernhard variety Peonies with softball-sized blooms. An additional 150 pounds of greenery was used throughout, as well as 1350 square feet of vinyl in Victoria’s Secret signature pink hue, and 525 feet of LED neon.

“We wanted to make sure you had a cohesive experience regardless of your entry point. We couldn’t necessarily drive all traffic to enter on one street versus the other,” explains Melissa Gonzalez, Principal, MG2, and Founder of the Lionesque Group. “In both cases, it was fully immersive and educational. We wanted to make sure regardless of your entry, it felt like a holistic journey.”

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The experience started on the High Line’s sundeck with a trellis-like, flower-adorned portal, shaped like Bombshell’s emerald-cut bottle. Guests next entered an enclosed pink “infinity tunnel” with another bottle shape creating the entrance. Featuring projection mapping, this was the heart of the pop-up, which included floor-to-ceiling sheer fabric panels that created an “enchanting optical illusion.” With this being the brand’s first bilingual campaign, upbeat music from bilingual pop star Camila Cabello – the current “face” of Bombshell – played in the tunnel. (Camila Cabello also made an unscheduled visit to the pop-up during its run, surprising guests by signing autographs and taking pictures.) Guests ended their journey in a sales area.

Bottle-shaped elements are throughout, including an oversized one with a mirrored surface that was meant to reflect the “bombshell in all of us.” Other activations included stations for perfume bottle personalization, meet and greets and Mother’s Day events – all driving curiosity, education and brand discovery. (In fact, Victoria’s Secret’s activation-wide sales goals for the fragrance were exceeded the first day of the pop-up’s opening.)

Since the High Line is a public park, the pop-up was open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily with everything designed to be illuminated in the evenings – both for visitors and for nearby hotel guests and residents who overlooked the park.

In total, an estimated 93,000 guests came through the Bombshell Gardens pop-up, and approximately 14,000 fresh flowers were gifted to visitors – four marriage proposals took place too.

“It was amazing to see someone recognize, ‘oh my gosh, there’s this beautiful set that’s been created for me that exudes romance and all these elements – let me leverage that and use it as the memorable backdrop to my engagement.’ I think it had dual impact,” Gonzalez says. “It wasn’t just the people getting engaged, but the people witnessing that significant moment that really tied a deeper, emotional connection to the brand.”

PHOTO GALLERY (8 IMAGES)
📷 Adrian Wilson, New York; B Floral, New York; Larry Pang, New York

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