NEW YORK—To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Sex and the City and celebrate the upcoming season premiere of And Just Like That..., Max hosted a four-day pop-up experience in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood that allowed fans to immerse themselves in the fabulous franchise.
“When we realized the 25th anniversary of Sex and the City fell squarely in the promotional window of the new season of And Just Like That…, it felt like kismet,” explained Dana Flax, vice president of Max Originals marketing, about the decision to host the pop-up. (The original show debuted June 6, 1998, and the premiere of AJLT's second season is June 22.)
She added, “As a huge fan of the franchise myself, it was easy to envision—from a fan’s perspective—what we would want most out of a celebration of this milestone—an interactive exhibition-style experience where we could touch and feel elements of the world in a totally unprecedented way.”
Carl Stevens, head of entertainment for marketing agency RQ, which produced the experience in partnership with Max, echoed that sentiment, saying "there is such a passionate audience surrounding this series—one that now spans generations—so we knew we had to honor the world of the show and, in turn, give fans something tangible that would take them back through their time with the series."
From a promotional perspective, Flax said that the goal of the experience was to generate “an immense amount of earned media and social impressions that would drive catch-up viewership on Max and whet fans’ appetites to tune in to see what Carrie and her friends are up to next on And Just Like That…’s second season.”
The “And Just Like That…It’s Been 25 Years, A Sex and the City Experience,” which was open June 8-11, featured a recreation of main character Carrie’s brownstone stoop, her bedroom complete with a rotary phone, and a photo opportunity where visitors could gaze out the window in the style of the sex columnist, posing in front of her laptop.
From there, fans could walk into “Carrie’s Closet Experience,” which highlighted the characters’ fashions from all seasons of Sex and the City through And Just Like That…. To execute this part of the experience, Max teamed up with creative studio Framestore.
Framestore employed hardware and software solutions from London-based technology platform Disguise to power the experience that spanned eight 10-foot LED screens over a 40-foot run, while mirrors separated each screen, allowing for selfie moments. Using advanced AI technologies, lower-resolution Sex and the City footage was upscaled to 4K resolution and slowed down to allow it to be displayed at a higher quality on the screens.
Following that, fans could explore franchise touchpoints, including iconic outfits, bags, and heels curated by costume designers Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago; an interactive Post-it wall; a gift shop with an exclusive line of SATC25 merch; and a cosmopolitan bar sponsored by Ketel One Vodka that served the pink drink as well as a nonalcoholic alternative.
"We needed to get the details right," Stevens said, which meant "sweating all the small stuff—things like, is Carrie’s window scaled properly, did the clock match the right timeline we were hoping to convey, what would Carrie’s desktop folders on her laptop actually be named. No detail or eye towards the minute was too small, which in turn led to these big, profound moments for fans to enjoy. The gasps you heard when fans noticed the Chinese food takeout in Carrie’s trash bin—they loved what the team had spent thousands of hours pouring over."
During the process of building the exhibition, Flax said that the executive producers, including Sarah Jessica Parker herself, were “extremely involved and collaborative in bringing this to life in the most authentic way possible,” working with the costume designers, as well as directly with Parker, to curate the costumes selected, which included Carrie’s tutu from the show’s opening credits and the Valentino haute couture gown from And Just Like That....
She added that the closet experience also allowed producers “to feature a few key looks that we would’ve loved to include that we weren’t able to due to availability or logistical challenges.”
Keep scrolling to see more from inside the “And Just Like That…It’s Been 25 Years, A Sex and the City Experience”...