Promotion by the Cupful

Fourth Wall teams with ING Direct for a station-domination project.

Over time, small expenses (and deposits) can add up to lots of money. That was the thought behind ING Direct’s “You Get What You Save For” campaign. Driven by this idea, the company envisioned a unique out-of-home advertising approach: a car made entirely of 100-percent recycled-paper coffee cups that would be part of a station-domination project at Edmonton's LRT Churchill Station in Edmonton, Alberta. ING Direct’s creative agency, john st. (, turned to Fourth Wall (, the digital and experiential division of Pattison Outdoor, to bring the concept to life.

Fourth Wall’s challenge was to marry john st.’s creative vision with technical feasibility. As you might guess, building a car from coffee cups is no easy task: “We had to figure out how to do that structurally,” says Ford Shirriff, Fourth Wall’s director of business development.

Ultimately, Fourth Wall came to the conclusion that a standard 12-ounce coffee cup would be the best size for the job, along with a very light plywood frame to provide a basic structure. From there, the remainder of the project involved building the car from 5811 coffee cups and 50 pounds of hot glue. 3A’s Fome-cor was used for the car windows.

Based on an initial rendering provided by john st., the dimensions of the riser as well as the size and weight of the coffee cups, Fourth Wall’s Toronto-based team created a digital model of the car using Modo 3-D software from Luxology. Factoring in the weight of the glue that would be needed, they then identified the required structural support. Ultimately, Fourth Wall shared a CAD rendering with john st. for final approval.

An experienced fabrication team was hired in Alberta, allowing for the final build to occur in Edmonton. Bits and pieces of the project, including the vehicle’s wheels, were pre-assembled, but the majority of the work occurred on-site at Churchill LRT Station over three days. Following a detailed plan, the installation crew went to work using box cutters and glue guns.

Meanwhile, Pattison Outdoor handled all the production for the print segment of the project in-house. In addition to the coffee-cup car, the project also included 25 transit posters, wall murals, stair decals, and digital media that used directional messaging to point people toward the car installation.

The campaign launched in mid-August of this year and ran through September. Commuters were challenged to guess the amount of cups used to create the showpiece and submit their answers through Twitter and Instagram for the chance to win $5000. Unused cups from the installation planning were donated to the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Center following the campaign.

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