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Virgincola:dj-in-a-can

“A highlight of my career was creating the virgin cola can” neil wickenden - hedspace creative director

Virgin Cola came to us with a concept: ‘DJ in a can’. That was it. Just, ‘DJ in a can’.

They wanted us to develop a promotional campaign around these four words. We were intrigued. And thrilled.

We knew already that Virgin Cola promotions were famous for pushing boundaries and securing media attention with bold campaigns, so we understood that we had to develop the concept into something that would knock peoples’ socks off.

We took to our creative den and feverishly began generated ideas. Finally we emerged with our solution: the Virgin Cola DJ-in-a-Can car, a full-sized, fully-branded, four-wheeled vehicle incorporating a pop-up DJ booth and mega-power sound system. The idea was nuts (but then the brief demanded nuts).

And, as hoped, the advertising team at Virgin Cola went nuts. They wanted the DJ-in-a-Can car, and they wanted it built in time for the launch of their new advertising campaign in just twelve weeks.

It was a tall order, but we rose to the challenge.

This thing was going to be like no vehicle ever constructed before. Built on the underpinnings of a lorry, the giant Virgin Cola can was to be custom fabricated from steel and the whole thing was to incorporate complex hydraulic systems, a drivetrain and electrical, sound and lighting systems; all plastered with large-format branding and all safe and road-worthy.

The project involved commissioning and coordinating a team of CAD designers, engineers, a coachbuilder, various electrical, sound and finish specialists and project sponsors. (Ventax, the famous light and sound specialists, stepped up to provide the speakers, amps and a vast array of top-notch DJ equipment).

Watching the car come into existence was kind of like a dream. It was quite surreal to witness the hydraulic DJ booth rise magically out of the side of the can for the first time.

Sponsors got word of the project and offers of more technical kit came flooding in.

By week ten, car was all set for final safety tests before being decked out in its Virgin Cola livery.

Polished and prepped, the Virgin Cola DJ-in-a-Can car made its maiden journey from Glastonbury to London for the launch party. Along the way, jaws dropped. In London the press were all over the car. Everyone loved it. Virgin could scarcely believe it. Neil, our mild-mannered Creative Director, gleefully describes this project as one of the highlights of his career. We’d built one vehicle that everyone could rely on to get the party started.