London’s Lickable Elevator
How many licks does it take to get from one floor to another in a London communications building?
Baked goods producer McVitie’s is set to find out with the “world’s first lickable lift,” which sandwiched its way into the creative communications firm Engine on April 12. Inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory‘s iconic glass elevator, this contraption covered in wallpaper flavored with 1,325 McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes nearly puts Roald Dahl’s imagination to shame.
The installation, part of an innovation competition hosted by Engine called “Lift Off,” took four weeks for food technicians and artists to create after the London-based advertising agency Mischief concocted the idea. But the finished product stacks up sweetly against the competition, which called for each of Engine London’s 13 agencies to renovate what Engine employee Jonathan Akwue points out is paradoxically one of the most central, but drollest, aspects of working in the industry.
“Given how little people enjoy the experience of using lifts, it’s ironic that they hold a special place in the lexicon of advertising and sales,” Akwue writes on the Campaign Blog. “We use the term ‘elevator pitch’ to describe the ability to present an idea or value proposition quickly. It’s not clear where the term originally came from, although the use of the word elevator suggests that it’s a cultural import from the US. Regardless of the source, being able to deliver a great ‘elevator pitch’ is still a good test of effective communication.”
Lift Off’s goal was twofold: to spruce up the Engine office and also to communicate with each of the other agencies and divisions what projects they were working on in a very literal manifestation of ”elevator pitch.”
“… Like the plumber with a leaky tap at home, many communications businesses struggle to deliver effective ‘elevator pitches’ to describe themselves. Very often people working in the same building aren’t aware about what their colleagues on another floor or in a sister agency do,” Akwue argues. “Engine London … decided to solve this problem by bringing the ‘elevator pitch’ to life, allowing each of Engine’s 13 agencies the opportunity to take over a lift for two weeks. Each one has been given the challenge of communicating creatively what they do and what they have achieved.”
Up against elevators converted into giant word searches and news stations and lifts overrun by dogs and Mad Men, Mischief‘s Jaffa Cakes garnered attention from The Sun, Stylist, and Design Taxi. Each of the print replicas of the sugary snacks, which in real life are comprised of sponge cake, chocolate, and orange, are removed once licked for sanitary purposes, so it’s safe for employees to sneak a slurp on the way to the copy machine.
“We are all about bringing a bit more fun to life,” Jaffa Cakes chief Philippa Tilley told The Sun. “This was the perfect way to get a little joy straight to stressed-out office workers.”
The competition ended more than a week ago, but the winners are yet to be announced. Odds are the tasty decor will take the cake.
Photo from Design Taxi