Sawgrass Mills Mall – There She Blows

July 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm (advertising, Branding, Design, economy, Environmental Graphic Design, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, marketing, South Florida) (, , , , , , , )

hurricaneWhat happens when you combine tourists with 78 mile per hour winds in a space the size of a telephone booth? If visions of them changing into Superman, or skirts blowing like Marilyn in the Seven Year Itch come dancing through your head…sorry no such luck.

It is entertaining to see that people actually pay $2 to stand in a small booth and have air shot at them while watching a screen about hurricanes. On a hot day it might be nice to feel a blast of air for a minute or two while walking in the open air portion of Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, Florida, but I can’t justify it, especially when there’s stores that have real air conditioning just a few steps away.

The booths claim to be a “franchise-alternative business opportunity” and are licensed by a guy in the Tampa area. They also offer advertising space on the small LCD screen inside the unit. One irony is that a good feeder band from a real hurricane could topple the whole thing.

To me this appears to be a knockoff of the Gulf Coast Hurricane exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, Florida. The exhibit puts a small group of museum goers into a wind tunnel, cranks the winds up to 74 mph, and teaches people how to “Get Smart, Get Ready.”

I think this kiosk concept could be sound if it were repurposed as a traveling exhibit in connection with hurricane preparedness seminars. We see this concept with fire department smoke houses, and other safety based presentations.

I do enjoy sitting on one of the benches around this kiosk and watching tourists, usually kids, pay their money and get blasted with air. It’s like you’re really there, just with out the rain, debris, fear that your vehicle will be in one piece afterward, etc…

The funny thing about hurricanes is, as Ron White said, “Now, lemme explain somethin’ to ya: It isn’t *that* the wind is blowin’. It’s *what* the wind is blowin’. If you get hit by a *Volvo*, it don’t matter how many sit-ups you did that mornin’.”


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