The Challenge. Our client, URMAS Shopping Town, has experienced a decrease in customer flow due to Covid-19 pandemic as most shopping centres in the market. The mood of both buyers and tenants was pessimistic. With the restrictions of the lockdown eased, the client was looking for an idea to attract customers in a fun and cheerful way.
The Idea. After spending time confined to their homes, people, and particularly children, missed events. Therefore, to attract families with children to the shopping town we came up with an idea to organize a messy art play marketing event where a real car served as a canvas for children to express themselves through painting.
The main idea of the event was to create a covered outdoor space of approx. 100 sqm in size, which would look like a real father’s garage – with tires, a bicycle, ladder, and, of course, a real car.
The Solution. It was the first time when 3-12-year-olds were able to re-paint a VW Beetle and other items usually found in a garage using water-based ecological paint. Children were able to enjoy complete creative freedom. During the two-weekend marketing event, more than 200 litres of water-based Creall Basic paint from our partners Eduko LT was used.
By using their own mind to plan, explore, co-operate and problem-solve, they are building self-confidence and self-esteem that will help them develop as independent individuals as well as teach them to become useful members of a team.
Making it Extraordinary. “The Colourful Garage” is an activity, which belongs to the type of messy art play. There is no right way to do messy play. The only rule is letting children explore and experiment with different objects and raw materials without any end goals to restrict them. By using their own mind to plan, explore, co-operate and problem-solve, they are building self-confidence and self-esteem that will help them develop as independent individuals as well as teach them to become useful members of a team.
The main benefits that messy art play provides for children:
- it fosters children’s curiosity, imagination and exploration,
- it encourages communication and language development,
- it is a good focus practice and nurtures future skills,
- it promotes physical development,
- it supports the ability to play independently and with other children.
The unrestricted play also fosters the child’s perception of freedom as one of the most important values and personal rights and understanding that exercising one’s freedom cannot interfere with others.
Because of the COVID-19 virus threat, we took extra safety measures at the event. Children were able to participate in the event in groups of no more than 10 children, participants were asked to disinfect their hands before and after the event. Also, each child was provided with disposable gowns, gloves, and booties before entering the painting area, which not only protected the participants from getting smudged but also reduced the risk of the virus spreading through hands or clothing.
The only thing we were spreading around without any limits was colourful children’s joy! And parents were happy not having to clean up the mess that ensued.