In 2018, Paradigm began an ambitious, multi-year partnership with Bi-State Development and one of its largest partners, the Gateway Arch. Gateway Arch National Park had just completed a major redevelopment in which its grounds and museum were completely reimagined to better unify the City of St. Louis, the Arch and the Mississippi River.
Along with several stakeholders, ranging from the National Parks Service to the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, Paradigm’s goal is to drive local and non-local visitation to the Arch so that it may continue to inspire hearts and minds around the world.
One of the first goals we set for ourselves was to build a library of video footage for the Gateway Arch. While there’s no shortage of gorgeous photography of the Arch, photos don’t always convey the experience of visiting the park or journeying to the top. At key points throughout the year, we’re coordinating video shoots and using the footage to support new programming and engage potential visitors online.
Stanley Cup Visit
The St. Louis Blues hoisted their first-ever Stanley Cup in 2019, prompting a summer of celebration in the city as the Cup toured local landmarks for photo opps. Of course, no visit to St. Louis is complete without a stop at the Arch.
We coordinated a video shoot to capture Lord Stanley’s visit to the park, featuring a private Tram Ride to the Top and meet-and-greets with National Parks Service rangers and Gateway Arch employees. We also collected lots of gorgeous photography of the Cup shining in the morning sun with the Arch rising high in the background. Footage from this shoot has been used to promote the Arch on social and create cross-promotional opportunities between the park and the Blues.
Frights & Heights
All the great St. Louis cultural institutions host unique holiday events, like Boo in the Zoo at the St. Louis Zoo or Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. But when it comes to the Arch, it’s normally business as usual. As part of a broader strategy to reconnect local St. Louisans with the Arch, we created an event called Freights & Heights.
Freights & Heights offered a one-of-a-kind night at the Arch, where families could visit and participate in all kinds of games and activities, like a haunted tram ride and balloon animals. We supported the event with a logo design, promotional signage and social media posts. We even designed an activity book, featuring custom illustrations of Halloween characters that took kids through word searches, crosswords and coloring pages.
We knew Frights & Heights had potential to become a mainstay for St. Louis families, so we had our videographer on deck that night to capture all the fun. We collected lots of footage of families enjoying a different kind of night at the Arch, which we plan to use to promote next year’s event and others like it.
Meet the Builders
Each year, the Gateway Arch invites the engineers, trade workers and support crew responsible for its construction to St. Louis for a day of education and celebration with visitors. These men and women have incredible stories to share about how this one-of-a-kind structure defied the odds and became a reality. And as they get older, we wanted to make sure their stories of ambition and determination are preserved for a new generation.
We partnered with the Arch’s historian to conduct a series of video interviews with the builders who attended the 2019 Meet the Builders event. We designed questions that would prompt recollections and storytelling from the builders and paired their responses with historical photos and modern-day footage of the monument they helped construct. In capturing these stories, we helped preserve a piece of national history and connect visitors to the Arch in a more human way.
The global tourism industry took a massive hit during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Arch was no different. After closing for several weeks due to St. Louis’ stay-at-home orders, the Arch was ready to reopen. But, like any destination during the pandemic, things wouldn’t look quite the same.
We worked with the Arch team to support a redesigned visitor experience that balanced safety and discovery. We started by designing a new series of wayfinding signage, including posters and floor markers, to help visitors move through the facility safely. The signage was especially important for conveying information about mask policies, payment information, foot traffic flow and social distancing protocols.
We also directed a series of instructional videos showcasing the new safety precautions for attractions like the museum and the Tram Ride to the Top. These videos were critical to overcoming the public perception that visiting the Arch wasn’t safe during the pandemic. The videos were played on screens throughout the facility and promoted on social media for potential visitors.