Category: Visual Merchandising & Window Dressing
Location: Balmain East, NSW, Australia
Submitter: Plump and Spry


The Queen Victoria Building (QVB) is an iconic shopping destination in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, Australia. It is home to a unique mix of retailers from mid-luxe goods to specialist stores, spread over five levels. Affluent Asian shoppers from Australia and abroad make up a valuable portion of shoppers to the QVB.

The retail category is facing tough times at the moment. Consumer spending has slowed. For the QVB, these factors, coupled with the neighboring light-rail construction at their main entrance, translated to a difficult period for trading.

With Lunar New Year (LNY) fast-becoming a growing event in Sydney, and around one million people of Asian descent living in the city, we needed to communicate that, despite the roadworks, the QVB was still very much business as usual, and a shopping destination worth visiting. Typically, LNY celebrations are drenched in clichés. Our challenge was to create an experience that resonated with the Asian audience and was compelling enough to generate share-ability on social media.

• Increase centre traffic by 3% during campaign period – particularly the Ground Floor increasing by 2%, and Level 2 by 2% (a consistent challenge is encouraging customers to explore upper levels).
• Achieve $200K worth of PR around LNY in relevant media.
• Culturally align the QVB with broader CBD celebrations of LNY to target Chinese market.
• To drive engagement and relevance across QVB social channels (measured by engagement with campaign).

How were the objectives met?

Tapping into our target audience’s love of nature, cute/playful things, and their beliefs, we created a bespoke tree installation – the centerpiece of the campaign, located on the Ground Floor. The design was based on a traditional peach blossom tree; a popular motif in Chinese art. It is considered sacred – representing longevity, romance, prosperity, and growth. Some even have mythical status, with wishes at these trees said to come true.

However, our 6-meter high tree provided a surprising twist on tradition. Instead of blossoms, branches were laden with three thousand miniature felt piglets to celebrate the Year of the Pig. From a distance, the tree could be appreciated. On closer inspection, it captivated. The circular base allowed audiences to dwell, photograph, Insta-share, and contemplate its beauty.

Supporting touch-points encouraged exploration of upper levels:
• 10,000 copies of an 8-page printed DL pamphlet (along with a special wishing tag insertion) were handed out to customers, including retailer offers exclusive to QVB.
• A ‘Wishing Station’ (Top Floor) where customers could write their New Year’s wishes, affixed beneath the QVB’s iconic dome.
• A Commemorative Swarovski Crystal Coin Gift With Purchase in partnership with UnionPay (Top Floor).
• Artist in Residence (Top Floor) created complementary LNY prints.
• We commissioned award-winning, Chinese-born illustrator Lisk Feng, whose previous clients include Apple Music, The New Yorker, and Airbnb to create bespoke campaign illustrations across all floors (POS, in center signage, digital screens, VM, external billboards, PR releases, social, animation/motion and website).