The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away

M I C H, Thomas Davis

The Queen’s Gambit: One Story Away

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‘The architecture of Grand Union Station echoes the beautiful production design of the show, inviting the audience to literally step inside Beth’s topsy-turvy world and experience the game from her perspective.’

Thomas Davis, Creative Director, UNIT9

The background

Netflix wanted to honor The Queen’s Gambit becoming its most-viewed scripted limited series ever. So as part of the “One Story Away” campaign, we took over LA’s historic Union Station to bring people into the world of the show.

The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away
The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away
The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away
The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away

The execution

The Queen’s Gambit is a marvel of craftsmanship and period design. To let people experience it for themselves, we recreated the iconic “upside-down chessboard” that the main character, Beth Harmon, visualizes on the ceiling in the show.

We built a 30-foot-tall chessboard and hung it above a life-sized statue of Beth,
thoughtfully gazing up at it as if she’s plotting her next move. The chessboard was suspended from a truss-supported design and seamlessly blended into the station’s aesthetic. The statue of Beth was designed in VR by a professional sculpture artist, then 3D-printed with a wood-grain surface.

The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away

Inspired by the high production value of the series, we applied the same level of
craftsmanship and design to our large-scale installation. Every piece was designed to match not only the show’s aesthetic but also the motifs of Union Station’s storied architecture. The Ticket Concourse was the perfect backdrop to let people see the world from Beth’s point of view.

The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away
The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away
The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away
The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away

The results

Taking over Union Station made a big statement. Crowds formed to admire the
installation and people lined up for their chance to take pictures. For weeks, it
dominated the top posts tagged at Union Station on Instagram, continuing to drive impressions long after it was taken down. Even if people only saw the installation virtually, they were still served with the message that with Netflix, they’re only “one story away from learning to master the game.”

The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away
The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away

The installation was more than just a branding initiative. It blurred the lines of
experiential advertising, art, and narrative storytelling showing how brands can evoke emotion have the power to rewrite the rules of audience engagement.

The Queen’s Gambit One Story Away

Credits

Awards