Stories Lightswitch and the Auto Industry: A Strategic Partnership

Lightswitch and the Auto Industry: A Strategic Partnership


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Lightswitch has a unique and long-standing partnership with the auto industry. Our experience goes beyond auto shows and includes events for dealerships, press events, dealer meetings, and auto exhibits. The purchase of a car carries a deep emotional connection and the potential for brand loyalty, and our breadth of experience offers insights into how to reach and connect to this consumer base. When considering lighting for auto events, we focus on highlighting the product itself - enhancing the thrill and delight that only a new car can provide.

Through many years of experience, we have learned lighting’s brand power and how it can deeply effect the customer’s perception of a product. When displaying cars, it is critical that the lighting be perfect. We are proud to have numerous longstanding automotive clients, including Chrysler Group, who has looked to Lightswitch for their exhibits for nearly 20 years. In total, we’ve lit more than 250,000 square feet of Chrysler Group exhibit space at the Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York shows.

Now more than ever, automakers are beginning to look into more immersive consumer experience that goes beyond the typical auto show space. Events that used to cater specifically to the dealer are now being created for media and consumers by marketing production companies. For the 2015 Infiniti QX30 Reveal event at the Los Angeles Auto Show, we worked with experience marketing agency George P. Johnson to create a branded, luxury environment at a local warehouse that set the stage for the reveal. Our goal was to create an exclusive event and environment that would resonate with the car’s target demographic: young, stylish urbanites across the globe.

We have developed strong relationships with experience marketing companies like George P. Johnson, with whom we also worked on the exhibits for the 2013-2015 Nissan North America Auto Shows. Lightswitch designed the lighting for the exhibits and press reveal shows and, as part of Nissan’s new global auto show look, a giant red halo reminiscent of a racetrack floated atop its exhibit booth. 

When Porsche completed their new $100 Million North America Experience Center in Atlanta and its sister development in Los Angeles, they hosted star-studded extravaganzas befitting of the milestones. Working with longtime Lightswitch client GO! Experience Design, Lightswitch helped create experiences that immersed the guests in the brand. The events weren’t just geared toward local Porsche enthusiasts and dealers, but the broader business elite, providing an opportunity for Porsche to reach a targeted potential consumer base. These kinds of targeted events are on the rise, as witnessed by Porsche’s recent celebration of the 1,000,000th Porsche 911 in Manhattan, an event that in the past would certainly have been wrapped into a traditional auto show event. Auto brands are realizing the increased return on investment compared to the broader audiences reached at a typical auto show. In fact, Porsche chose to not attend the Detroit Auto Show (the largest in the US) last year, instead choosing to focus marketing dollars on these special events. 

It is Lightswitch’s deep understanding of the automotive market combined with our creative and multidisciplinary approach that come together to create fresh, sophisticated, and on-brand environments for our automotive clients. 

photography by Kathryn Rapier, Jeff Granbery & George P Johnson.

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