GERTRUDE, INC. TRANSFORMS CONTAINERS INTO EXPERIENTIAL EVENTS
Oh the things veteran Chicago ad man Otis Gibson can tell you about shipping containers. Yes, Gibson and his boutique shop GERTRUDE, INC. are very into the humble shipping container and how it can be transformed into something Gibson is now catchily calling “branded architecture.”
Shipping Containers are at the center of a new division at Gibson’s boutique ad agency GERTRUDE, INC. called RAYE — a named derived from Ray Eames, part of the famed husband and wife design team Ray and Charles Eames . In an interview Gibson said he decided on the name RAYE to pay tribute to his favorite designer Ray Eames.
The launch of the new unit at GERTRUDE, INC., which is now in its 11th year in Chicago, came, Gibson said, after his firm got more and more requests from clients to develop experiential events. “Clients increasingly are looking beyond traditional television and print ads,” said Gibson. So Gibson is doing a lot of experiential stuff with what is rapidly becoming his trademark, the shipping container.
Now GERTRUDE may very well be the only Chicago ad agency that can say it specializes in premium-branded shipping container design, modification and activation.
One of RAYE’s first projects was for the spirits behemoth DIAGEO’s line of Studebaker premixed cocktails. Gibson and his RAYE team took a large 20′ shipping container and transformed it into a custom-designed modern speakeasy with a burnt cedar-clad (shou sugi ban) exterior, a wrap-around deck, video and sound system and a dry bar — all of it emerging from a humble shipping container.
But if you weren’t one of those invited to enter the exclusive Studebaker speakeasy, you can still see how much Gibson likes shipping containers at the GERTRUDE, INC. offices at 2150 S. Canalport in Chicago, where Gibson has cleverly integrated a shipping container into the office entrance.