The Port of Tacoma faced a host of pressures—shipping line consolidation, stiff competition and industrial projects on adjacent lands that were drawing criticism. Opinions on how to mark the Port’s fast-approaching centennial were as varied as its stakeholders. The Port sought a partner to help navigate turbulent waters and reconnect with the people and history fundamental to the region’s prosperity. Whatever we dreamed up would need to be as big as it would be approachable.
We invited the public inside the shipping business—literally. We wrapped a 20-foot shipping container with large-scale graphics celebrating the Port’s 100 years and filled it with a walk-through interpretive display. This pop-up museum made its way to major events in Tacoma, generating excitement that an outreach table or online display alone couldn’t achieve. Along with the showcase container, we created the centennial theme, tagline and logo. We also fully wrapped a transit bus, produced a coffee table-quality centennial magazine capturing 100 years of history, created print and transit ads, and ended the year with a holiday send-off in the form of a tongue-in-cheek digital holiday greeting.
The campaign is one of the Port’s all-time favorites. Most importantly? The community positively celebrated and joined the fun. The container wrap attracted attention at local events and the magazine can still be found on coffee tables and conference rooms across Pierce County.
Lastly, to wrap up a year of celebration for the centennial, we created a holiday website about the Port being a large, unknown producer of fruitcake. We fabricated, embellished, candied, mixed and baked up a far-fetched tale of oversized ovens and huge promotions on a global scale. We topped it off with gifts of custom aprons, tins and of course, rum.