After 150 years leading an industry, it’s no surprise Sherwin-Williams has a story to tell. And that story is most definitely not a novella. It’s also no surprise that a company who believes “what is worth doing is worth doing well” would seek out a like-minded company to paint their story in an unforgettable way. Enter LEO Events.
A celebration by the book and off the chain.
Since 1866, The Sherwin-Williams Company has grown to become a worldwide industry leader in paints and coatings. They wanted to open 2016 with a celebration that would commemorate their 150-year legacy and inspire the audience to carry that vision forward. “Celebration 150” was born and was a yearlong company initiative. Since LEO produced Sherwin-Williams’ past two Eastern Division annual meetings, we were invited to bid and were awarded the Celebration 150 event. Sherwin-Williams recognized the integrity LEO Events possessed to develop creative that would respectfully interpret the company’s legacy and Code of Principles and the expertise to stage the event under its severe timeline constraints.
From the outset, Sherwin-Williams leadership was adamant that all creative had to be historically accurate without being dryly academic. In other words, be spectacularly on point. Given the enormity of the Amway Center, home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, making the 12,000 attendees feel like participants was also a challenge. Add in that the company was introducing a new CEO at the event – and that the set had to be designed to scale for an audience of 4,000 to also be presented back in their hometown of Cleveland – and LEO had some work to do. And all with only seven months to concept and execute.
What tells a story better than a book? Well, a larger-than-life, two-story, digital “book,” that’s what. LEO created one for the stage’s backdrop using gigantic projection screens configured to look like an open book. To engage the audience during the 90 minutes it took to fill the arena, LEO utilized high-energy music, humorous man-on-the-street “Ask Sherwin-Williams” videos, congratulatory videos and more. As show time neared, a countdown clock fashioned from oversized paint chips was projected on the stage’s two center screens. A team of virtual painters, seemingly suspended from the tops of the main screens, painted the Celebration 150 logo.
The opening featured a parade of 131 flags representing the countries served by Sherwin-Williams, aerialists, acrobats, dancers, singers and a live band, led by former Saturday Night Live musical director and two-time Emmy winner Katreese Barnes. LEO commissioned a custom song, “We’ve Got a Story To Tell,” that wove in and out of the evening’s activities.
Co-founder, Henry Sherwin himself, played by an actor, stepped out of the pages of his book, bringing the company’s history and his Code of Principles to life. The executive chairman walked through the Legacy of Leadership, as the company has had only nine CEOs in its history. The newest CEO addressed the organization for the first time, reviewing the company’s current successes and vision for the future. The audience was then asked to imagine a world without Sherwin-Williams’ innovations, a world without color. The arena went dark, and the audience was asked to show their favorite Sherwin-Williams color on their phones, using a custom Celebrate Color app specially created and downloaded beforehand. The Amway Center became ablaze with digital Sherwin-Williams paint chips. For the show’s finale, the performers returned, and the band reprised the custom-written song, which the audience had learned via a Sound of Celebration custom app. The event culminated with a virtual and literal 50-member chorus featuring Sherwin-Williams employees, as well as confetti cannons and a send-off to a private evening at Universal Studios Theme Parks.
Consider the story of Celebration 150 well painted.
While this production presented many challenges, like only having 32 hours in the arena before the doors opened and only six hours to load out before the Orlando Magic’s home game the next day, LEO approached them with a “this-is-how-you-do-it” plan. The result was an incredibly satisfied client and a story that is still being celebrated today.
Services Provided: Event Management, Set Design and Production, Content Strategy and Development, Graphic and Creative Design, Live Experience, Speechwriting, Speaker Coaching, Custom Music Creation, Scripting, Event App Development.
Ask Sherwin Williams who got an Ex Award nod from Event Marketer. LEO did of course. For Best Production of An Event, B-To-B, for Celebration 150.