Crowning Lady Liberty

Turtle Transit fashions a world record-breaking crown.

In launching its new kids’ BK Crown Program and celebrating the redesign of the quick-service restaurant’s kid’s meal box and iconic crown, Burger King set out to create the world’s largest crown – and offer it up to none other than the Statue of Liberty.

The agencies leading the royal creation, Coyne PR and Grand Central Marketing, reached out to “innovator in the field of unexpected advertising” Turtle Transit, based in Massachusetts. Burger King called for an oversized aluminum replica of its well-known BK crown and children’s meal box, which would sit alongside Lady Liberty.

“We approach every project with a simple motto: ‘If our clients can dream it up, we can build it,’” says Mark Roberts, Turtle’s graphic production manager.

The project entailed several challenging elements. “First, the crown had to be a freestanding, self-supporting structure. Secondly, the crown had to be able to be disassembled for transport. And, the sizing of the crown needed to be large enough to break a world record, while still maintaining the scale of the packaging,” says Roberts.

Turtle Transit owner James Riseborough designed the build plan for the crown and its base. The shop fabricated the crown entirely from aluminum, while the meal box was constructed of a steel frame with an aluminum skin. Overall, the 15 x 19 foot structure had a circumference of 60 feet and weighed in at more than 1000 pounds.

With the structure built, it was time to create the graphics. Burger King supplied the artwork, which was then slightly adjusted in Adobe Illustrator CS5 to match the crown’s construction, ensuring that all of the elements would fit together properly.

Because Burger King wanted the colors and finish of the oversized crown to match that of its smaller counterpart, color matching had to be spot-on, says Roberts. “The first color test off the HP Designjet L25500 was right on the money. The color matched perfectly, which was great considering we had very little time for several rounds of proofing. The client approved it on the first round. The proofing done was on the same materials used in the final project for color accuracy with the final product.”

The graphics were printed with an HP Designjet L25500 and Onyx RIP onto 3M Controltac IJ160 and Scotchal IJ40. Using a Seal 62 Pro S laminator, Turtle then applied 3M Scotchcal 8509 luster laminate.
One installer, Roberts himself, handled the graphics’ installation at the shop, wrapping both the crown and the base. “The deck, which is the children’s meal box on which the crown sits, had an aluminum skin and there were few places to stand while installing the graphics. It was like walking on a balance beam,” says Roberts.

The wrapped crown and kid’s meal box were then disassembled, transported to Staten Island, and put together again onsite. The entire structure was assembled on a 30 x 90-foot barge that was pulled up the Hudson River by a large tug boat. Once on site, a second tug boat was used to help hold the barge in place.

The crown was showcased during a media event, at which Burger King donated $125,000 to the Statue of Liberty restoration fund in celebration of Lady Liberty’s 125th birthday. Turtle Transit stayed on scene to make sure the event ran smoothly and to disassemble the crown at the event’s end.


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