In honor of the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Friends, WB Worldwide Television Marketing commissioned BARTKRESA studio to transform the Burj Khalifa’s World’s Largest LED display. BKS animated a three-minute-long show that wove Warner Bros’ graphics into a high energy dance set to the Friends theme song. The show captivated crowds in Dubai, as well as millions of global fans, who turned videos of the 25th anniversary show into a viral hit.
WB Worldwide Television Marketing wanted to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Friends with a spectacle befitting one of the most popular television shows of all time. They orchestrated events in fifteen countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. As the first time zone to arrive at the 25th anniversary, Dubai kicked-off the global celebration with an unparalleled spectacle. WBWTM approached BARTKRESA studio about creating an animated show for the World’s Largest LED Display, which covers the façade of the Burj Khalifa. They provided icons from the show, such as a stylized graphic of the Central Perk couch, which BKS animated into a vivacious homage choreographed to the Friend’s theme song, “I’ll Be There for You.” The combination of the vibrant animation with the scale of the Burj Khalifa created a unique experience that resonated both in person and on social media.
While the LED display on the Burj Khalifa has the functionality of a giant TV screen, the shape follows the unusual silhouette of the building. When BARTKRESA studio reviewed previous presentations on the building, they found that many shows used the LED display like a TV screen, and used the platform to show trailers and commercials. Both WB Worldwide Television Marketing and BARTKRESA studio wanted to use the Burj Khalifa’s massive platform and appeal to create a spectacle that captured the spirit of, Friends. They agreed that using the screen to show a montage of scenes from the TV show might entertain fans, but would not evoke their nostalgia. Drawing on BARTKRESA studio’s immense experience in designing content for architecture, they decided to use the architecture of the building as a motif. This design approach connected the content to the building in an innovative and mesmerizing way.
Because our experience is architectural design, we used the LED display to create a sense of scale. BARTKRESA studio used the architecture of the Burj Khalifa as a unique canvas and inspiration for the animated content. They designed the content to follow not just the silhouette of
the building, but to elicit the structure of the building on an LED display that had a flattening effect on the architecture. This design approach created a sense of whimsy in the animation, as colorful graphics bounded up the levels of the building, and slid down the spine. The incorporation of the architecture into the design gave the animation depth, and created the illusion that the treasured icons from Friends were transforming the Burj Khalifa as they blanketed the globe.
The animated show on the Burj Khalifa was an example of an innovative experience rooted in art and light. The animated content worked seamlessly with the plaza-level sound system, and even the choreographed fountains to transform the distinct building into a celebration of an iconic show. Videos of the show went viral on social media, racking up millions of views from fans around the world. BARTKRESA studio’s animated show on the Burj Khalifa was a highlight of the global anniversary celebration, evoking the unique place the Friend’s occupies across cultures and generations.
Nominating Company- BARTKRESA studio
Project Name- Friends 25th Anniversary Global Kick-off