Forever 21 Recreates Instagram Snaps via a Giant Thread Screen

When you post a photograph with the hashtag #Forever21ThreadScreen to Instagram, your image will show on a thread screen, an ad project created by agency Breakfast for Forever 21.

The thread screen, which is 11 feet tall and weighs 2,000 pounds, turns Instagram photos into a mosaic produced by 6,400 different colored wooden spools. The idea behind the project, Breakfast’s biggest so far, is to promote Forever 21’s back-to-school campaign by encouraging friends to share pictures using the hashtag.

Andrew Zolty, Breakfast’s co-founder and chief creative officer, believes the thread screen will help change Forever 21’s image from a traditional clothing retailer to an innovative and dynamic fashion brand.

“We are trying to blend the worlds of technology, fashion and art,” Zolty explains. “No one else is doing this type of campaign. The project is putting Forever 21 in a different light by giving consumers a unique online and social media experience.

“We decided to transform Instagram photos because the social media channel is a natural choice for people to share images and Forever 21 has a massive following on the platform that we can tap into,” he adds.

The project is running through next Tuesday. Forever 21 has not yet posted any #Forever21ThreadScreen images or videos via its official Instagram account, but users can watch edited videos of their Instagram photos being transformed on a microsite.

The campaign’s biggest obstacle is running the machine 24/7, due to the inconsistency of the wooden spools and fabric, according to Zolty.

“They can easily change shape and length depending on the temperature and humidity,” he says. “That means we have to monitor the screen and constantly use our software to adjust the image colors.”

Prior to the Forever 21 machine, Breakfast created Instaprint, a photo booth that turns user-generated Instagram pictures into a Polaroid wall. In addition, the agency built an open source dev board for Google voice search after the feature was announced.

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