Advertising campaigns are great, but savvy marketers know that to get the most mileage from those big budgets, you have to take the idea to the streets. That’s exactly what Skittles did with one of their typically off-the-wall TV campaigns, this one starring Skittles fanatics in the grip of gigantic human hands. The idea was relatively easy to create with special effects for a television commercial, but translating it to live marketing events was a different story. When somebody said, “We need a couple of lifelike, 20-foot-tall hands to pull this thing off,” Chisel 3D said, “No problem.”

Working with the pros at Team Epic, Skittles’ event marketing agency, Chisel 3D designed and fabricated three over-the-top sculptures: a 20-foot-tall hand clutching an exact replica of a bag of Skittles candy, a 20-foot-tall fist with the first finger giving the “number one” sign, and a pair of four-foot-tall hands cupped to create a place for fans to warm up during cold-weather Skittles marketing events. Because the pieces were intended for outdoor use, they had to be engineered, built and hard-coated to withstand the elements, including wind, rain and snow. They passed the weather test at the very first event, the Polar Bear Plunge in Chicago, where brave participants took to Lake Michigan on a cold, windy day in January.

Meeting Skittles’ strict engineering requirements and brand standards weren’t Chisel 3D’s only challenges. The Atlanta crew also had to build the mammoth hands so they could be transported across the country and set up quickly once they arrived. “We thought through every scenario the customer would deal with from the time the hands left our shop,” said Gary Bystrom, Chisel 3D CEO. “We made sure the sculpted figures could be safely offloaded and secured on site, and we made it easy to get them back on the truck to go to the next event. How our pieces work for our customers is as important as how they look.”