Here’s how Shutterstock and partners created an immersive experience—and brought the thrills of the Formula 1 raceway to life.
As you wander around the exhibition hall in Mexico City, you stop in front of a photo of a Formula 1 driver. He’s still wearing his pink racing suit and a black face mask covering his mouth as he looks down at the ground.
Many people might interpret that photo as the face of a disappointed Formula 1 driver. Quite the opposite emotions are flowing through Sergio “Checo” Perez’s brain at that moment, though.
He had just finished his first career Formula victory on December 6, 2020. What you are witnessing in this photo is Perez reflecting on what he had just accomplished.
Shutterstock’s Editorial Collection on Exhibition
The photo is one of many from Shutterstock that were included as part of the Experience One exhibition in Mexico. The exhibit celebrated Perez and the history of Formula 1 racing. The collaboration between Fashion Media Group (FMG) and Shutterstock coincided with the 2022 Mexico City Grand Prix. It gave passionate Mexican sports fans a chance to celebrate a sport they love, with a national hero in the driver’s seat.
“We started talking about how the Gran Premio in Mexico has been very successful and has been awarded as one of the best events in Formula 1, and how Checo Perez has had a big impact on the Mexican fans,” said Fashion Media Group Co-Founder Alex Hutt. “We see a lot of kids now and a lot of young people following Formula 1 with the Netflix series. And, with the success Checo Perez has had recently in Red Bull, the idea for the exhibit was born.”
In need of a partner for the exhibit, FMG turned to the vast collection within Shutterstock’s Editorial archives. The photo collection complemented the memorabilia and other immersive experiences within the exhibit.
As the owners of one of the most extensive archives of historic photos, Shutterstock was the perfect partner for this endeavor to celebrate Mexican racing.
Creating an Immersive Exhibit with Multimedia
Every photo in the exhibition was paired with a QR code that explained its full story in detail. This was yet another way that the exhibition came to life. Its engaging storytelling immersed visitors in historical knowledge as they prepared to celebrate Mexico City on staying on Formula 1’s race calendar through at least 2025.
“What is really special about having access to this archival footage is that you can tell a story. You can really bring to life a historical moment,” said Shutterstock Editorial’s Senior Sales Director of Latin America Juliette Cuijpers. “It’s right there at your fingertips, so you can very quickly put together a story.”
The main story being told was that of Checo Perez, the 32-year-old Mexican Formula 1 driver from Guadalajara. Hutt is a longtime friend of Perez’s father, Antonio. Hutt worked with the family to not only showcase Perez’s career through photos, but also make the exhibit a more holistic experience with various pieces of memorabilia on display.
First impressions of the exhibit were quite positive, as younger generations were able to connect with their heritage and celebrate a popular international sport.
“The people that had the chance to visit the exhibit, some of them were amazed by the unique pictures, the historic pictures, and actual pictures that are artistic,” Hutt said. “Obviously, a lot of those pictures are unique moments in the history of racing, unique moments with big Formula 1 stars, and the history of Formula 1. Then the exhibit also was complemented with obviously interactive immersive experiences. We had the noise room that I think, for a lot of young kids, was a unique space in the Experience One exhibition.”
The noise room was a special room where exhibit-goers were immersed in the sounds of a Formula 1 race. The room was also filled with photos from throughout Perez’s career. It was one of many parts of the exhibit designed to connect with a younger audience who would learn more about the sport from an immersive experience.
“The feedback I heard the most often is it’s a very cool experience,” Cuijpers said. “The old-school Formula 1 fans may be more geeky into the details, but what people really liked was the personalization of the exhibit. It’s a cool experience where you can learn more about Formula 1 but, at the same time, be able to come hang out for a cocktail. I think people liked that it was a gathering space as well.”
Celebrating Mexico’s Formula 1 History
Although the Mexico City portion of the exhibit closed shortly after the race in late October, the feedback provided to FMG and Shutterstock gives them hope that this will be a traveling exhibition for the 2023 Formula 1 season.
In the meantime, plans are already underway to bring the exhibits to other areas of Mexico. These locations include Cancun and Perez’s native Guadalajara, before being expanded to travel to other locations around the globe.
One person who cannot wait for the expansion is Antonio Perez, who donated many of the artifacts on display that belonged to his son. Perez said he was overwhelmed with emotions when he first saw the exhibit. It was important to him to see Mexicans be at the center of such an exhibition, because it showcased the history and pride of his compatriots.
“It’s one of the best experiences I’ve seen in the world,” Antonio Perez said through a translator. “I think this experience made by Mexicans is an incredible project to enable Experience One to be carried out. Starting with Mexico, (we can) start showing it across all the cities of our country like Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Chihuahua . . . I think this is going to be the starting point of the trajectory (for this exhibit), and I think next year we can have Experience One in Monaco, Singapore, then start finding partners and more material (globally).”
License this image via Victor Chavez/Shutterstock.