News / Events

September 2014
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BLI Brings U of Wisconsin’s Championed Student Athletes Back With Innovative Digital Experiences

Brightline Interactive has partnered with the University of Wisconsin to honor the legacy of current and previous scholar athletes in the Bud Selig Hall of Champions at Camp Randall. The suite of experiences, including two touchscreen kiosks, an interactive projection video wall, and an interactive display case, will encompass the school's rich athletic legacy with history, trivia, and media.

"The University of Wisconsin recognized the value of adding experiential engagement to its already robust, student-focused presence at Camp Randall," said Erik Muendel, CEO and CCO of Brightline Interactive, adding, "these interactives are not only providing a wow-factor for student recruitment and fan engagement, they provide unique, high-quality systems to educate Badger fans, athletes, and students about University of Wisconsin history and pride."

Bud Selig Hall of Champions digital experiences combine Brightline's expertise in both academic campuses and museums, while incorporating the consumer engagement and entertainment elements that have made their experiences so engaging at places like the Super Bowl and Final Four NCAA Tournament.


Avengers Land In Times Square With Marvel Exhibition

Marvel's Avengers are in New York's Times Square. A new pop-up exhibition and store, at the Discovery Times Square Center, is Marvel's way of touting its Avenger series with a pop-up presence and point of retail for licensed merchandise. The walk-in, 10,000-square-foot storefront digital exercise is an interactive gesture, touch and immersion gallery comprising rooms devoted to four of Stan Lee's iconic cartoon characters: the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man and Thor.

Visitors start at an "Official Avenger Recruiting S.T.A.T.I.O.N." where they get a card with a QR code. They then go into an "Induction Room" to view an introductory video and tour a curated display of Avenger memorabilia. The QR-coded card allows the fan to initiate all of the subsequent experiences and learn more about the superheroes' "genesis of protection."

The interactive elements include a Captain America pod, where you can see his godlike emergence from wherever he comes from; an Avenger performance endurance test with biometric feedback, where one, if so inclined, can compare results with the uber patriot's. There is an interactive screen to "witness the Incredible Hulk's brain," and how the grey matter changes -- or probably shrinks -- from Bruce Banner's to the Hulk's. At the end of the experience, visitor traffic flows into a retail space.

The space, developed by Brightline Interactive, which created interactive/digital elements, and exhibit design firm Victory Hill, has been open for just over a week and will remain open for the next six months. Erik Muendel, CEO and CCO of the Alexandria, Va.-based Brightline (which has done work for brands like Pepsi, HTC, Sprint, and the U.S. Army) tells Marketing Daily that the program benefits from a licensing agreement with Marvel, which is involved in the experience's look and feel. "Because it's so media-heavy, everything we do has been reviewed by Marvel."

The relationship with Discovery is evinced by the educational elements within the exhibit, notes Muendel. For example, the Thor exhibit -- in a separate room that sports a hologram of the character's hammer, his suits and other gear -- has NASA-centric screens dealing with time travel, the concept of wormholes and theoretical physics in general, he says.

Marvel and Discovery Times Square Center anticipate that it will bring in an average of 3,000 fans per day through its Jan. 5 end date.


Brightline Interactive Joins DC’s Unity Meetup to Talk Gaming, Advertising Monday Night

Brightline Interactive's Senior Developer Andrew Otey and Game Designer William Jones will address Washington Area Unity3D User's Group Monday, April 21st at American University. The Meetup will begin at 5:30 PM, with educational panels and mingling lasting until 8:30 before members head out for further networking.

The WAUUG Meetup was created for people interested in learning Unity3D, helping others learn Unity3D, sharing Unity3D best practices, and game development. Meetup members help others become better Unity3D users and game developers through face-to-face meetings, round tables, and lectures. The group is open to all creative minds interested in learning about Unity3D, not just developers.

Andrew is Brightline's Senior Developer, with a focus on interactive development and user experience design. He works in a variety of platforms, including touchscreen, gesture, sensor, and touchfoil. He has a B.A. in Journalism with a focus on Multimedia from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Andrew has been working in Unity for the majority of his professional career.

Andrew will be joined by designer William Jones. The native Washingtonian specializes in prototyping and concepting, working with creative and development teams to bring new ideas to life. William, who has been using Unity3D for almost five years, has a background in CGI and design.

The development duo will be discussing Unity3D integration into digital experiences for major brands to be used at large sporting and entertainment events. Specifically, they will discuss the workflow between graphic development and production. Lead Evangelist of Unity Carl Callewaert will also give remarks about the features of Unity 4.6 and the upcoming public release of Unity 5.


Brightline’s Erik Muendel to talk Converged Media, Corporate Communications at JMU’s SMAD Day 2014

Erik Muendel, CEO and CCO of Brightline Interactive, will deliver remarks to James Madison University (JMU) students during SMAD Day 2014. Erik will speak during the Converged Media panel for the school of Corporate Communications, In addition to reviewing students' resumes for summer employment opportunities.

SMAD Day is an all-day event that invites students to explore opportunities following college. The day features careers sessions for each concentration of the school, as well as sessions on resume reviews, interviewing tips, and portfolio reviews. Led by SMAD alumni and other working professionals, these sessions are important in developing networking connections that may one day lead to internships or jobs.

"Brightline has attended SMAD Day for several years now, and each event, we are blown away by the future generations of talent in the digital space," stated Erik, adding, "I'm a proud JMU alum, and thrilled to see such creative and passionate minds to watch for as technology continues to expand as an opportunity for professional and community growth."

Erik has been a national leader in the digital marketing industry for over 17 years. Since founding Brightline Interactive, Erik has provided the creative direction and technical understanding that has established Brightline as a national leader in the digital and experiential marketing space. Erik's leadership and vision spans across multiple platforms, including digital experiences and custom applications for major events, providing award-winning solutions for clients and brands like 5-hour ENERGY, the National Guard, AT&T, Pepsi, and the National Park Service.

Erik's panel will begin at 10:30 AM in Harrison Hall 0118. Brightline Interactive is currently filling positions for summer internships. For more information, see their website.


Brightline Interactive Sponsors First-Ever DC Ops Meetup

Brightline Interactive has partnered with members of DC's vibrant tech community to sponsor the DC Ops Meetup. The first of its kind, this networking and educational event will feature remarks from Michelle Hoffman, CEO of Hoffman CFO Consulting, about common financial missteps that small businesses take that hinder their ability to grow during periods of growth or hiring.

DC Ops was started by Joe Corbett, COO of nclud and DC tech advocate. The meetup will also be a partnership with fedscoop's Greg Poersch to leverage expertise in events catering to programming professionals and their career development.

"The reason I started the DC Ops Meetup is rather simple: Wanting to be the best COO and all-around "ops guy" I can be, I decided I needed to meet more COOs so I could readily draw on them for advice and guidance," stated Joe, adding, "I started a meetup where operations-minded people could meet and learn from each other."

The event is targeted to those interested in learning how to operate a small- to medium-sized businesses, though it is open to people of all titles and industries. Sponsorships and donations will benefit Byte Back, a nonprofit computer and job training center that serves over a thousand low-income adults each year.

"We're proud supporters of Joe's endeavors to grow the operations side of the thriving DC tech community," stated Curt Seiss, VP of Operations at Brightline Interactive. "As businesses expand and grow at the rapid pace of our industry, Operations professionals benefit greatly from hearing from others' ideas and educating themselves on best practices."

For more information about the DC Ops meetup, RSVP here.


Alessandro “Sam” Santarelli Fully Intends to Drop It Like It’s Hot at ad:tech

Sam Santarelli, EVP at Brightline Interactive, will speak at ad:tech in San Francisco on March 27th. In "Overstimulated: Winning over the Jaded Audience," the seasoned advertising and digital expert will advise attendees about integrating advanced technology to create lasting brand impressions. The session will take place at 1:15 PM at Moscone Center West.

All marketers today face a common concern: how to capture the attention of a consumer increasingly bombarded with messages and images. So many brands leverage social media and digital strategy to attract users, but what makes an event or experience truly memorable? Sam will present case studies that outline the impact of experiences that engage users both on and offsite. Brightline layers in advanced technology like networked touch, sensor integration, and custom game apps to provide an integrated marketing experience that has helped brands remain relevant in the fast-changing world of technology, social engagement, and advertising.

Following the session, attendees will know how to outshine competitors, dominating heavily-attended events with unique and impactful branding and messaging. Through this process, a brand cultivates brand evangelists, who then carry that message beyond the footprint.

"Audiences like ad:tech's are the some of the brightest and most inventive minds in the industry," stated Sam, who previously spoke at ad:tech in New York last year. "The questions and sessions presented there inform the future of digital marketing and advertising, bringing to life advanced ideas and creative concepts."

Sam has been a player in the digital marketing industry for over 12 years. Since joining Brightline Interactive in 2007, he has provided creative direction and established business relationships that have helped cement Brightline Interactive as a national leader in the digital event marketing space. In his previous life, Sam produced historical documentary films, including the Emmy Award Winning PBS documentary, "The Cultivated Life: Thomas Jefferson and Wine." He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Virginia.


Brightline Interactive Makes the Birthplace of Country Music Come Alive

Brightline Interactive is collaborating with Hillmann & Carr Inc once again to design, develop and install digital experiences in a high-profile museum setting at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (BCM) in Bristol, VA. Continuing their long-standing partnership, Brightline Interactive and Hillmann & Carr combine their expertise in delivering fun and engaging content to a wide range of museum audiences. A suite of experiences that engage visitors about the early days of country music will provide a compelling view of the history and importance of Bristol where the earliest commercial hit recordings were made in 1927.

The museum is set to receive seven new, permanent touch-screen experiences: the Bristol Wayback Machine shows the unexpectedly bustling Bristol of the early 20th century; at six in-depth exploration stations users can listen and learn about all the major recording artists; with a virtual music mix board users can custom re-mix Bristol songs; visitors might try yodelling at the interactive video sing-a-long booth; at other stations users listen to artists of the 20th and 21st century who have covered Bristol songs; a final kiosk invites visitors to send a customized digital postcard from the Birthplace.

"We've learned to rely on Brightline's creativity and vision to ensure that our projects breathe life into history, and tell an interesting story to the visitor at museums like BCM," began Al Hillmann of Hillmann & Carr Inc, adding, "We look forward to working with Brightline again for this project, applying their dynamic technology in an educational space."

Brightline has partnered with Hillmann & Carr on many other museum and visitor center projects, including Sunnylands in Palm Springs and Fort Henry Discovery Centre in Ontario. Brightline Interactive ensures the latest technology and techniques are being utilized by pulling on their experience in the commercial world, including work for the Super Bowl and World Series.

For more information about the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, visit its website,


Gearing Up for Global Game Jam, Brightline Interactive Hosts Unity3D Meetup

Brightline Interactive will host a Meetup of Unity3D users Tuesday, January 21st at 6:30 in the Digital Exchange.

The event will bring together the members of the Meetup group "Washington, DC Unity3D Users," and will include a workshop followed by networking. This event is ideal for those who are interested in learning Unity3D, helping others learn Unity3D, and Unity3D best practices and/or game development. The Meetup group helps members become better Unity3D users and game developers through face-to-face meetings, round tables and lectures. This month's Meetup will be focused on preparing for the Global Game Jam, which will be held January 24-26.

Brightline has recently incorporated Unity into more of its social digital experiences. The gaming development tool was integrated into an experience created for the 2013 World Series, as well as a digital out-of-home interactive experience displayed in the NYC Subway for a major commercial brand.

"We're dramatically increasing our usage of Unity in digital experiences this year because of its rapid development process and vibrant community," stated Jason Powers, Chief Creative Technologist at Brightline Interactive. "Unity's scalability and versatility of integration with external hardware and software fit seamlessly with Brightline's experiences for sporting and entertainment events."

The Meetup will take place at The Digital Exchange, Brightline's studio annex across the street from the office's headquarters in Old Town Alexandria. The location is a 10-minute walk from Braddock Road metro, and ample parking is available on-site. To schedule a visit to see Brightline's recent work on display, email curt(at)brightlineinteractive(dot)com.

Brightline Interactive Announces Collaboration with ClarkPowell Audiovisual Technologies and Systems

Brightline Interactive has teamed up with ClarkPowell to showcase state-of-the-art interactive technology at the Digital Exchange, a demo space in Old Town Alexandria. The audiovisual professionals bring their expertise with interactive digital displays to the experiential agency's office for a collaborative effort between creative and first-class technology.

"Our partnership with ClarkPowell elevates our commitment to being at the forefront of technology," began Erik Muendel, CEO and CCO at Brightline Interactive. "ClarkPowell's knowledge of audiovisual applications adds a new dimension to our high-end experiential offerings, and allows our digital experiences to truly engage the user in new ways."

ClarkPowell and Brightline Interactive have come together to merge the most innovative technologies with effective content to raise the bar of digital experiences on display at the Digital Exchange. ClarkPowell will also be in the area supporting its key vendors during the kick-off of GovComm, to be held December 4th and 5th in Washington, DC.

The Digital Exchange, a studio annex across the street from Brightline's Headquarters, is located at 816 North St. Asaph Street in Old Town Alexandria. The location is a 10-minute walk from Braddock Road metro, and ample parking is available on-site. To schedule a demo, email curt(at)brightlineinteractive(dot)com.

Brightline Interactive CEO and Creative Director Erik Muendel to Speak at Digital Day

Erik Muendel, CEO and Creative Director at Brightline Interactive, will be delivering a presentation on the integration of social media into event technology during the 2013 Digital Day with the Direct Marketing Association of Washington. The day-long conference will be held October 16th at the Gannett Headquarters in McLean, VA. Erik's presentation, titled: "Social Machines: Social Media for Events" will take place at 11 AM.

Social machines are experiences that transform digital actions into tangible results via the use of social media and a physical apparatus that serves to attract users. These experiences are incentivized, so that consumers choosing to, for example, tweet using a specific hashtag crafted by the brand, earn the chance of winning a prize. The tweets sent from the users' phones create a physical action-perhaps blowing air into a balloon, or shooting paint from a gun-until an end result is achieved-the balloon is popped, or a painting is completed. Social machines allow brands to capture user data, and are completely social media-integrated for optimal use at all kinds of events.

The Direct Marketing Association of Washington is the largest regional direct marketing association in the US. DMAW members are end-users, vendors, suppliers, agencies, freelancers, educators, and students, the majority of whom are located in the Washington Metropolitan, Baltimore, and Central Virginia areas.

Erik has extensive speaking experience, and is a well-respected leader in the experiential marketing industry. Though he covers many different topics, Erik is specifically focused on the areas of emerging technologies, integrating digital experiences into on-site activations, and developing attractive, engaging interfaces for seamless user experiences.

Erik's previous speaking appearances include Event Marketing Summit, ad:tech San Francisco, Digital Summit, EVENTtech, ad:tech New York, The Future of Touch and Interactivity, and Ignite DC. Erik is also the founder of the group #DCExperiential.