Taking a brand into the future, through the past.

VML began a project-based partnership with Kansas City’s historical Union Station about a year before their centennial celebration in 2014. We developed the idea of a virtual exhibit, an augmented reality app that gave visitors a new way to connect with important moments in history from one of America’s most iconic buildings, all through their mobile devices.

We used a truly innovative approach, the combination of technology was the first of its kind, anywhere. Even our partners at Union Station agreed it was nothing short of amazing, and made the app a permanent staple of the Union Station experience. While the project is complete, we remain close and open to more opportunities in the future. 

Case study

Turning phones into time machines.

One of Kansas City’s most historic buildings, Union Station has long been a recognizable landmark for residents. However, the museum and event space was seeing a drop in visitors. Pressured by the upcoming Centennial celebration in 2014, Union Station came to VML for help.

Challenge

Kansas City’s Union Station was nearing its 100th anniversary. But with declining foot traffic, we needed to remind people why it's worth celebrating.

Idea

We filmed reenactments of the station’s most historical events and created an augmented reality app that let visitors go back in time and come face to face with history. They could even put themselves in the scenes and share them on social media.

Result

Union Station had foot traffic not seen since it was a working train station. Opening weekend, we saw over 30,000 in-app interactions, and users spent an average of one hour reliving history. Now a permanent attraction, the app still draws visitors.

Awards & Recognition

Cannes Lions 2015
The One Show Awards
New York Festivals
The Webby Awards
Tomorrow Awards
Adweek Watch Awards
IAB Mixx Awards
Communication Arts Advertising Annual