Reconnecting a community to its past


Michigan Central Winter Festival

Ford’s Winter Festival brought together the Detroit community to celebrate the redevelopment of the iconic Michigan Central Station.

December 2018




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Bringing a legend back to life

The Detroit community long dreamt of seeing the storied Michigan Central Station (MCS) brought back to life after closing in 1988 and being left to ruin. In the summer of 2018, Ford Motor Company purchased the iconic building and was keen to give the community a moment of celebration and create a sense of anticipation before the redevelopment kicked off.

Celebrating a community

We worked alongside Ford to create an exciting and heart-warming moment that would deliver a great news story, a celebration and strengthen community relationships. The rise and fall of this historic building mirrors the story of Detroit itself, a city that fell into decline after the Motor Town glory years and is now being resurrected. The redevelopment therefore holds particular meaning for today.

A revival story told through projection mapping

To bring Ford’s vision to life, we tapped into advanced 3D projection mapping technology and imagined a beautifully narrated light show that would cover the building’s facade for the first time ever. As part of complex projection mapping we crafted a narrative that showcased the station at its peak, celebrated its revitalisation and promising future ahead with a light show played three times an hour for audiences to enjoy.

Creating an event for local businesses

The entire experience was complemented by a night market with music by Detroit-area musicians and DJs, food and activities and a first of its kind exhibition of nostalgic train station artefacts.


Value for the audience

This experience held enormous value for the audience as it really was a celebration of local history and people. This is proven by the 40 minutes dwell time and 20,500+ attendees.

Whether it’s sitting behind the wheel of one of our vehicles or inviting people to see where we are going as a company, high-touch, personalised experiences like this are critical to cut through to customers in a noisy marketplace.

Garett Carr

Global Autoshow and Events Manager, Ford

Value for the brand

Ford is synonymous with the City of Detroit and this experience only further cemented the brand’s loyalty to the city amongst locals. The 99% favourability of Ford as a partner after the event demonstrates this.

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“Black people didn’t create this situation we find ourselves in, therefore, it can’t be on us to change it. It’s going to be down to all of us.” David Oyelowo, Actor – as Dr Martin Luther King Jr in 'Selma'.

These are the words that inspired us to take action.

Imagination, along with our partners at Yessian Music and members of the Detroit creative industry are proud to come together to stand up, be counted and help our community's youth tell their story to the world. It is a story that deserves, and needs, to be heard.

August 2020
Clio Award US PR Week Award Shots Award D Show Award