“Just like all things in retail real estate, we’re re-imagining how consumers experience our centers, and the holidays are no different,” says Steven Levin, Centennial’s CEO. “These magical and immersive experiences will engage and entertain guests as they wait to meet Santa Claus. With theatrical-quality set designs and rich storytelling brought to life using augmented reality technology, we’re delivering unique multi-generational experiences that will delight our guests for many years to come.”
Centennial has partnered with creative agency Parker 3D to develop new interactive holiday sets, each with augmented reality apps, inspired by three beloved holiday movies from Warner Bros. Pictures – The Polar Express, Elf, and A Christmas Story. Centennial has also partnered with Agency808 to design a fourth experience based on one of the holiday season’s most cherished children’s books, The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition®. The brands have been curated to create a deeper and more rich connection with the customer and to provide a refreshing new Santa experience. Centennial will be the first real estate developer in North America to introduce the new Parker 3D holiday sets based on The Polar Express and Elf films from Warner Bros. Pictures. Additionally, Centennial’s new “The Elf on the Shelf: Santa’s Magical Photo Adventure” experiential set will be both a first to market in North America and a first-in-the-world design.
“If you’ve ever waited in line to see Santa Claus with anxious children in tow, you know how tedious that wait can be. At Centennial, we’ve put a more modern twist on the way Santa visits and photos are done by creating interactive experiences with selfie opportunities and digital apps that make the wait as much fun as the visit with Santa,” says Whitney Livingston, COO, Centennial. “Centennial is also going to be a trend-setter in the retail industry by touring these branded experiences among multiple mall properties, allowing each shopping center to provide a new experience to its guests each year. It’s an important and pioneering investment that will increase guest engagement and demonstrate the creative out-of-the-box thinking responsible for Centennial’s growing reputation as a leader in retail placemaking.”
Vancouver Mall:“The Polar Express”
- This Parker 3D set, created in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will be a first-in-North America design.
- Debuts at Vancouver Mall on November 14th.
The Polar Express is the tale of an adventurous young boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus as he boards a magical train headed to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. The experience immerses visitors in the movie’s magical realm, allowing them to take a variety of free selfies, including one in front of the famed Polar Express train itself, complete with steam and realistic sound effects. Using a free digital app with augmented reality capabilities, guests can bring the set to life. After arriving at the North Pole, guests will visit and take professional photos with Santa or choose from a variety of green screen backgrounds for other professional photo opportunities.
Connecticut Post Mall: “Elf”
- This Parker 3D set, created in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will be a first-in-North America design
- Debuts at Connecticut Post Mall on November 13th
The greatest Christmas film of the 21st Century, according to Fandango, is Elf, a movie which tells the story of one of Santa’s elves moving to New York City to meet his biological father. In keeping with the film’s storyline, the “Elf”-themed holiday experience offers a number of free selfie-worthy photo ops, including taking pictures alongside a real-life NYC taxi. Using the set’s augmented reality capabilities, visitors will enjoy peering through holiday-themed shop windows. There are even green screen paid photo ops that allow guests to take a picture of themselves in the Candy Cane Forest or chatting with Mr. Narwhal while standing atop an iceberg. The encounter, of course, concludes with a visit and professional photos with Santa.
MainPlace Mall: “A Christmas Story”
- This Parker 3D set was created in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
- Debuts at MainPlace Mall on November 13th.
One of the most cherished holiday films, A Christmas Story is a heartwarming narrative about Ralphie, a young boy in the 1940s who yearns for a special present for Christmas. The experience at MainPlace Mall incorporates many of the most famous scenes from the movie, and because the movie was set in the ‘40s, it provides an opportunity for different generations to share memories as they admire replicas of period-specific food items, appliances and furnishings and hear the sounds of an antique radio playing in the background. Visitors to the experience at MainPlace Mall can take pictures in front of Ralphie’s family home, inside the Parker family kitchen, and as a paid addition, alongside the movie’s iconic leg lamp. Using the set’s free augmented reality app, guests can even don a pink bunny suit or watch the neighbor’s bloodhounds knock over the table and steal the Christmas turkey - all before visiting and taking professional photos with Santa and sliding down the movie’s famous slide to exit the set.
Hawthorn Mall:“The Elf on the Shelf”
- This Agency808 set, created in partnership with “The Elf on the Shelf” brand, will be both a first-in-North America and first-in-the-world design.
- Debuts at Hawthorn Mall on November 14th.
Hawthorn Mall’s experiential set is based on the popular children’s book Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell, and illustrated by Coë Steinwart. Written in rhyme, the pictorial book explains that Scout Elves visit children’s homes between Thanksgiving and Christmas, returning each evening to the North Pole to let Santa Claus know who has been nice. As visitors enter the mall’s interactive experience, “The Elf on the Shelf: Santa’s Magical Photo Adventure,” they will pick up a printed activity sheet that leads them through their photographic adventure.
Throughout the set, there are a variety of Instagrammable photo opportunities including an over-sized hot cocoa mug and a sleigh where guests can capture the fun with a photo. There is also a name generator that assigns each visitor their very own elf name, a chance to deliver the news as an anchor for the Reindeer News NetworkTM, and a “Meet the Pets” area based on several related animated specials where visitors can “feed” a reindeer and Saint Bernard pup.Perhaps the most exciting photo opportunity, aside from the extra-special moment with Santa himself, includes a larger-than-life bookshelf with giant books that gives shoppers the chance to capture a heart-warming moment sitting next to Scout Elves on the shelf! Finally, guests will make their way to Santa to take paid photos and share their wish lists.
“The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition is all about family, togetherness and traditions,” says Chanda Bell, the book’s co-author. “While the story has been told through a variety of mediums, the holiday experience Centennial is bringing to Hawthorn Mall is something brand-new – the first of its kind worldwide – and we are absolutely thrilled that, at Hawthorn Mall, so many families will be able to experience this story in such an exciting and inventive way.”
Beyond pictures with Santa and other professional photo options, including two green screen opportunities, each of these interactive experiences – including visits with Santa – are free of charge and open to the public. The three Warner Bros.-themed sets include the use of free augmented reality apps, each with four unique activations. After downloading the apps, guests will have the opportunity to book their experience in advance or join the center’s MyPerks loyalty program for additional in-mall benefits. With a purpose-built multi-generational appeal, each experience is expected to attract wide audiences both in and outside of each shopping center’s trade area, increasing sales and adding to the fun and enjoyment of the holiday season. Reservations for each encounter can be made starting today.
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, extends the Studio’s powerful portfolio of entertainment brands and franchises into the lives of fans around the world.
WBCP partners with best-in-class licensees globally on an award-winning range of toys, fashion, home décor, and publishing inspired by franchises and properties such as DC, Wizarding World, Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera. The division’s successful global themed entertainment business includes groundbreaking experiences such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, promotional partnerships and themed experiences, WBCP is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.
THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s19)
ELF and all related**characters and elements © & ™ New Line Productions, Inc. (s19)
A CHRISTMAS STORY and all related characters and elements © & ™ Turner Entertainment Co. (s19)
About The Elf on the Shelf
The Elf On The Shelf®, published by CCA and B, LLC, and written by Carol Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell, is a best-selling Christmas picture book that comes complete with one of Santa’s Scout Elves. Capturing the hearts of children everywhere, the magical Scout Elves help Santa manage his nice list by taking note of a family’s Christmas adventures, and then report them back to Santa. Each morning, the Scout Elf™ returns to its family and perches in a new spot, waiting for someone to spot them. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for the Scout Elf each morning. To learn more, visit www.elfontheshelf.com.
About Parker 3D
Parker 3D is an industry leader in entertainment displays worldwide. The company specializes in largescale, one-of-a-kind seasonal displays that are custom suited for each client’s holiday needs. Parker 3D’s award-winning designs feature interactive, dazzling entertainment that has increased traffic and garnered world-wide media attention. To learn more, visit the Parker3D website at http://parker3d.com/.
808 is a creative agency that serves children, families and the brands they love. The agency is comprised of storytellers and experiential architects that bring ideas to life by developing immersive, compelling experiences which create meaningful, emotional connections that disrupt the stale design market withinnov8ive thinking and resonate with each target audience. To learn more, visit the 808 website at agency808.com.
Centennial is a national owner of major shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations. Rooted in retail since 1997, the company is focused on shaping the evolution of American retail by creating a superior multi-faceted shopping experience. Centennial properties serve not only as a place of commerce, but a place of community. For more information, visit CentennialREC.com.
Blackford & Associates
Blackford & Associates
Blackford & Associates
Warner Bros. Consumer Products