This installment of Installation of the Week is dedicated to Nike’s latest attempt to sell more shoes through technological gamification. In this case, the shoe is the new “Epic React” model—apparently the bounciest, softest, lightest and somehow simultaneously the most resilient footwear ever created. The juggernaut company combined its powers with the Clio-winning Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai firm to outfit select stores in China with a playful, experiential installation called “Reactland” that allows retail shoppers to “test-drive” the shoes with a mixed reality set-up that affectionately mimics the 2D video games of yesteryear.
The elaborately decorated Chinese locations, heavily branded with the “Instant GO” Nike taglines, provide consumers with a pair of the Epic Reacts, a treadmill and a handheld trigger controller. The treadmill is situated in front of a camera and a curved, semicircular screen that introduces the shopper to their digitized avatar.
As the potential customer jogs on the treadmill, the avatar runs through treacherous situations in exotic locales including atop a speeding bullet train, past dancing panda bears and through clouds near the Great Wall of China or the Sphinx at Giza. The aforementioned trigger controller allows the character to jump over some of the video game’s obstacles thereby providing a reminder of the React’s responsiveness without the liability of jeopardizing the consumer’s safety. “Reactland” is available for visitors to try in select stores in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.