A Carnival of Colossal Proportions

The Daily Show Convention Sideshow came to life through an engaging experience that captivated attendees, media outlets, and Daily Show fans alike. Sub Rosa saw the project as an opportunity to generate buzz and provide a bigger presence on the ground at the conventions through a one-of-a-kind, technology driven experience. This thematic concept inspired vibrant, retro design cues utilizing typographically-led, bold visuals typically found at vintage state fairs, carnivals, and circuses; juxtaposing nicely against the contemporary visuals of The Daily Show.

Run for the border

Sub Rosa developed six key attractions:

The Hall of Not Presidents: a mirrored hallway featuring fun house caricatures resembling the election cycle’s most familiar faces.

The Yuuuuge Wall: a playful take on the Republican nominee’s divisive plans for permanent border control.

Run for the Border: a remix of classic carnival horse race, the game projected characters on physical lanes, which changed based on projection-mapped selections from players.

Grab-A-Delegate: a glass booth filled with flying political ephemera, the game allowed participants to compete against one another in grabbing as many paper points as possible.

Hot Button Issues: a whack-a-mole inspired game gave players the chance to “lay the smack down” on some of today’s most controversial issues.

The Daily Show Desk: offering guests the best seat in the house with a replica of  Trevor Noah’s desk, guests could conduct mock interviews and capture studio quality images of themselves playing correspondent with built-in social sharing.

6.71 Million Social Media Impressions
5,800+ @thedailyshow engagements
31,300+ likes, comments, shares, retweets, hearts

High Praise for Humor

The activation hosted hundreds of attendees and saw earned media coverage in The NYTimes, The Washington Post, Politico, Refinery29, Deadline, among others.

In addition, our work was honored in Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards.

“Draw from an authentically contextual world the audience can relate to. It must be authentic (and not just the buzzword definition of the word). Consumers are savvy and in order to be successful marketers, we must always assume the most of our potential audience. In The Daily Show Convention Sideshow, we sought to be equal-opportunity offenders, regardless of the fact that the client was Comedy Central and that the activation took place near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. We understood that attendees were of all political persuasions and ultimately wanted to be united by one thing: comedy.” –Matt Lower, Managing Director, Sub Rosa as quoted in Fast Company’s Co:Design