Addressing the broken status quo of transportation

Cruise: , , ,

We hang on to vehicles that burn up the atmosphere as we stare idly ahead creeping through traffic. We take that surge-priced ride-share vehicle home on a Friday night instead of the bus. We put ourselves and others in danger as we sneak a peek at that text message, or run that yellow light if in a hurry.

To admit and hear these as facts is one thing. To act on them is another.

But for Cruise, action is reality.

Cruise is a San Francisco based company building the world’s most advanced self-driving vehicles to safely connect people with the places, things, and experiences they care about.

For the unveiling of the Cruise Origin, an all-electric, self-driven, and shared experience, we needed to create an event that agitated the narrative around the status quo to open attendees’ eyes to the problems created by today’s transportation system.


There’s very powerful data, statistics and anecdotes to justify the mass adoption of autonomous shared vehicles. But sometimes, just hearing or reading it doesn’t make you come to the realization that change is necessary.


“The Status Quo Gallery” – taking those staggering numbers and quotes out of spoken word and plain text and bringing them to life, with a collection of visceral, museum-like, installations to spark realization and conversation leading up to the main announcement of the Cruise Origin.


We made people truly feel.

In the atrium that preceded the Cruise Origin announcement, each installation was a visual representation of a statistic focused on three major issues symptomatic of the status quo in transportation: dangerous roads, polluted cities, and wasted time driving.

Each build combined impressive mechanical engineering and stimulating elements to make the context of ‘why’ resonate with everyone in attendance. While clever and engaging, they communicated the harsh, and even sad, realities of today.

Marble Run
Every 15 seconds someone is injured in a car crash in the United States. Every 15 minutes someone dies.

We showcased these alarming facts with a take on a familiar childhood toy, only this one is a physical and moving representation of the crash and death toll in the United States.

Every 15 seconds, a gray marble is released down the run to symbolize an accident injury. And every 15 minutes, a red marble is released to symbolize a fatality.

Over time, the marbles pile up at the bottom of the case showing the scale of this epidemic: 5,856 marbles a day.

Cigarette City
Breathing in San Francisco is like smoking 365 cigarettes per year due to air pollution.

We designed a living representation of polluted air over a white model of the city of San Francisco encased in plexiglass.

Enveloping the buildings over time is a cloud of smoke that worsens to show the escalation of the problem if we don’t change our behavior and address sustainable mobility solutions.

The headline is written on the back of the case so guests have to look through the smoke to see the statistic.

Time shredder
Most drivers spend 12 days a year stuck behind the wheel of a car.

Designed as a moving representation of the time spent in traffic by shredding away individual calendar days.

Each day of the year has a photo of an activity people could have been doing other than sitting in traffic. For example, spending more time with family, friends; seeing that movie you’ve wanted to watch; ignoring emails while at home.

As the days carry on, a pile of the now shredded paper builds to show the accumulation of all that time literally being wasted during our commutes.

The big reveal
To showcase what’s next for urban mobility, Cruise launched the Origin: a self-driving, all-electric, shared vehicle.

The Origin is not a product you buy – it’s an experience you share. With seating for six people, and no steering wheel, it’s the beginning of a new era in transportation where people won’t be forced to trade off what’s good for them versus what’s good for the world.


We’re proud to be part of an ownable experiential creative approach for Cruise storytelling – one which can scale in physical size, scope, and complexity as their story evolves. Today, the installations live on at Cruise’s headquarters and the brand envisions more opportunities to use them at future events.

Overall, the event generated:

– 8.5 million social impressions
– 365 primary print stories
– 20x average lift for daily newsletter signups via