Ross Monroe
Student and Creative Technologist
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Juicy Downpour

Juicy Downpour

 

Project:

Juicy Downpour

Client:

Deschutes Brewery

Agency:

Digital Kitchen

Location(s):

Portland, Oregon

Denver, Colorado

Role(s):

Hardware Design

Installation

Collaborator:

Ben Chaykin

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Project Description:

With the release of Deschutes new beer, the Fresh Haze IPA, Deschutes wanted to develop a unique marketing campaign and installation for its brew pub in Portland, Oregon and for the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. They worked Digital Kitchen to produce a campaign that resulted in three key features surrounding the idea of a juicy downpour. Two cloud light installations, and a functioning mobile beer shower.

When we were brought on to help make this campaign happen, we only had three weeks to design, source, and execute these ideas.

Development:

After reviewing the project the first task we had was to find out what we were going to use for the cloud installation and where to get them. The requirements were for a month long installation for the main cloud, quick shipping for the smaller cloud at the beer festival, and durability for the mobile shower since it would be transported and shipped often. The spheres also needed to be good at diffusing light.

We ended up reaching out to a supplier who sold battery powered plastic spheres that were used as accent lighting and purchased several hundred in six different sizes without any of the electronics.

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In order to light up these installations and have full control, we used an Arduino library called neo-pixel and built our own light fixtures with LED strips that could be adapted to any size to fit inside the spheres. JST connectors were added so we could hang and attach the spheres to the structure, then daisy chain them with patch cables to pass data and power. In software the number of LED’s per fixture could be adapted and shifted depending on how we connected the spheres. We designed the light installations to be as versatile as possible so the buildout could go as quickly and smooth as possible.

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Execution:

Before shipping out the light installations, we recreated the structure in Seattle to make sure the cloud appearance was on point, the lights were all tested, and the software Ben wrote controlled everything correctly. Our installation in Portland had to be installed overnight with only 7 hours available, and the cloud installation in Colorado at the Great American Beer Festival had an 8 hour window.

Developing the beer shower was a hard task at first. We searched for prop builders who could get it done in time at a reasonable cost and were turning up nothing. I ended up finding 70 gallon fiber drums that looked exactly like a tall can of beer. We then designed and printed a vinyl wrap that I applied and cut a hole in the top for the piping.

The beer shower consisted of a fiber drum housing that was vinyl wrapped and sitting on a dolly. The inside housed a 30 gallon drum with a counter weight platform that allowed the shower head to hang above and away from the housing so it could be positioned above the actor and anyone willing to try it. Heavy steel piping was used as the skeletal structure and food grade vinyl tubing was ran through the steel pipes from a water pump to a 20” square shower head above. The effect of this was beer being pumped from the 30 gallon drum to the gigantic shower head to make it appear as though it was raining beer.

Results:

135,000+ Impressions (IRL) - Portland Brew Pub cloud installation (over 120 days)

60,000+ impressions (IRL) - GABF cloud installation (over 4 days)

45,000+ impressions (online/IRL) - Deschutes beer shower (on going)

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