If you’re at all active on social media, you’ve no doubt seen it – the sublime psychedelic visuals and breath-taking digital vistas dwarfing one of the world’s biggest rock bands. Las Vegas – the iconic city of light – shines a little brighter with the introduction of Sphere.
On Friday, September 29th, Bono, The Edge and Adam Clayton took the stage to launch their U2: ‘UV Achtung Baby Tour’ – the first of 25 shows at the Sphere. This marked the beginning of a new era in live entertainment.
Although the panoramic interior screen is the true showstopper – Sphere also possesses an even larger exterior display that encircles the entire structure. This gives it unprecedented visibility across the city, global reach and endless customisation possibilities. Could Sphere be the future of advertising?
Standing at an impressive 366 feet tall and stretching 516 feet wide, Sphere is the largest spherical structure ever built. Boasting an astonishing price tag of $2.3 billion, this makes it the priciest entertainment venue ever to grace Las Vegas.
Sphere’s partially hollow bowl-shaped arena is so spacious that it could comfortably accommodate the entire Statue of Liberty from its base to its torch. The world’s highest-resolution LED screen wraps around the audience, providing an incredibly immersive visual experience that fills your entire field of vision.
The exterior of the building is fitted 1.2 million LED pucks spaced 22.5 centimetres apart. Each puck has 48 LED diodes that showcase an astounding 256 million colours. This exterior screen serves as a billboard to promote events and video games, but it also adds a touch of flair to the Las Vegas skyline. It sometimes transforms into various forms, such as a basketball, a globe, an eyeball, or even a smiling yellow emoji.
First announced in 2018, the ultimate goal of Sphere’s creators was to redefine the future of live entertainment. Although future performances beyond U2’s final show on Saturday, 16th December have yet to be announced, we can expect the calendar for 2024 to be stacked.
No matter the event, it’s expected to deliver an unparalleled experience. While there have been some technical hiccups and there are concerns about potential nausea due to the immersive nature of the experience – these appear to be relatively minor.
The Sphere is on the cusp of transforming the entertainment industry and shaping the future of immersive content. The film “Postcard from Earth” was exhibited at the arena in ground-breaking 18k resolution – setting a new standard in visual quality. During the film’s debut, director Darren Aronofsky expressed his amazement at the exceptional level of detail, underlining the colossal volume of data involved – 500,000 gigabytes.
From a marketer’s perspective, it is Sphere’s exterior that’s particularly intriguing. Recent aerial footage on social media depicts the outer surface of the Sphere aglow with various moving images. These rely on the 300+ designers to create innovative and interesting content to catch the attention of the public – encouraging them to take a video to upload to social media.
In 2022, it was reported that Times Square adverts are seen by 500,000 people per day, yet it is very rare for these adverts to go viral on social media. Furthermore, the average TikTok trends last 3 days before engagement tapers off and people tire of seeing the same content again and again. If the Sphere maintains high virality, in the same way that Paris’ Eiffel Tower has, it could become synonymous with global messaging and relevance; becoming the dynamic face of Las Vegas.
The bad news is that the costs of advertising on Sphere are massive. While official figures have yet to be released, a leaked pitch deck revealed that a one-day ad takeover of Sphere costs $450,000 while a one-week run costs $650,000.
Owners of Sphere, Madison Square Garden Company (MSG), intend to build similar venues around the world – the first location being Stratford, East London. However, there has been some discontent from residents in the area, who believe that the venue would cast shadows over nearby homes, increase carbon emissions and cause considerable light pollution.
While plans for MSG Sphere London were approved last year, construction is pending approval from Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, and Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up. Despite the negativity surrounding the proposed London site, MSG boss James Dolan says the company’s controversial MSG London Sphere scheme is “moving forward”, and the plan is “to build more Spheres all over the world.”
At Cordis, our mission is to help businesses navigate the ever-evolving landscape of advertising and technology. We believe that the introduction of Sphere in Las Vegas represents a monumental step forward in the world of marketing and entertainment. This innovative structure has the potential to reshape not only how we experience live entertainment – but also how we engage with audiences through advertising.
Obviously, we understand that not many brands have the budget to advertise on the scale of Sphere – hence why we can help optimise your marketing budget and create content that truly stands out in the digital realm. With our assistance, you can make the most of these transformative opportunities; connecting with your audience in new and exciting ways.
If you’re interested in embracing the future – amalgamating both technology and creativity, get in touch with Cordis today.