Interface Cases Marketing campaign for ABB’s softstarters

Marketing campaign for ABB’s softstarters

Purpose and challenge

A softstarter is a starting device for electric motors that provides “softer” starting than conventional starting methods. The device helps to reduce wear on motor-driven applications such as pumps, fans and compressors – increasing their uptime and lifetime. To re-launch PSTX, ABB’s most advanced softstarter, a creative campaign was needed to create attention and likability in social media and on trade shows.


byBrick Interface’s assignment was to develop a creative concept that would communicate strongly both in digital channels and on physical events. A softstarter makes a big difference by reducing downtime and other production problems. This was the main message of the campaign.


We wanted to create an unforgivable experience and decided to visualize the benefits of a softstarter using a specially designed Virtual Reality experience. Instead of just talking about the product, we wanted people to experience it – or, rather, the absence of a softstarter.

The VR experience starts with the user standing in an elevator at the ground floor of a high-rise building. First, the user rides one floor up with a softstarter activated. Then, a voice in the elevator says the softstarter will be disengaged. A second later, the user experiences a “hard started” elevator. It feels like the elevator accelerates violently, then crashes through the ceiling and finally falls back down the elevator shaft down to the floor! All in a few seconds!

To make the experience even more realistic, we invited people to try the VR solution inside a physical elevator – in fact, the very same one replicated in the VR experience! However, the real elevator never left the ground floor…

We filmed people’s VR reactions inside the elevator to attract social media users to a campaign site. On the campaign site, we also published a calculator to give visitors an idea of the financial benefit of investing in a softstarter. A preliminary result was shown directly on screen, but it was also possible to order a more detailed analysis via email.


ABB used the VR experience to attract visitors on trade shows and events. It successfully drove visitors to ABB’s booths, which opened up for discussions with many new potential customers. The elevator experience coincided with the beginning of a VR hype, giving ABB a lot of cred for creativity and innovation in the mature and conservative softstarter business.

ABB är pionjär inom banbrytande teknik och styr industriell digitalisering mot framtiden. Innovation står främst i allt de gör och mycket av den teknik som driver det moderna samhället har utvecklats av ABB. Med en historia som spänner över mer än 130 år är ABB verksamt i mer än 100 länder och sysselsätter cirka 136.000 personer.

Johan Ekholm Project Manager
Erik Stridell Business Developer