Vans x Anderson .Paak Car Wash

Experiential Activation

Responsibly celebrating a product launch in a COVID world

We launched the Vans collaboration with Grammy-winning artist Anderson .Paak by immersing guests in an audio-visual, real-world-meets-virtual car wash experience. During COVID.


After Vans made talented rapper and multi-instrumentalist Anderson .Paak their first global music ambassador, the brand turned to Archrival to develop an event to launch his new collection. 

Then the pandemic happened. Shifting gears quickly, we worked with the Vans team to craft an experience that would provide a unique look at the collection and tell the story behind the collaboration, but do it in a responsible, socially-distanced way.

Enter the Vans Anderson .Paak Car Wash, where visitors immersed themselves in the collection without ever having to leave their vehicles!


Leading up to the event, we developed a car-themed seeding kit inspired by .Paak’s classic Impala. The kits featured designs centered around the products in the collection, each named for and inspired by his first two albums, Venice and Malibu

The kit was sent to a who’s who list of celebrities, each featuring the product from the new collection, a personalized license plate and — of course — custom ocean-scented air fresheners to hang from the rearview. 🌴


Invites were sent to friends and family of Vans and Anderson .Paak and select members of the press who signed up for a showtime throughout the day. Upon arrival, guests were checked in and informed on what to expect and how to be safe. While they waited, event staff offered a light windshield cleaning and tire dressing.

When it was time, a boisterous Anderson .Paak mascot led each vehicle inside where they became immersed into our crazy, abstract notion of a car wash featuring numerous details and effects throughout, from props and lighting to bubbles to suds.

Event staff wearing the new product and custom YES LAWD! coveralls (AP’s signature phrase) got everyone into position safely.


Spinning suds and a new single.

Anderson .Paak closed the show by dropping his new single and music video, Jewelz, which featured the collection. As the music started, we surprised guests with a fleet of diverse dancers who interacted with what was happening onscreen, flipping, scrubbing and breakdancing their way around each vehicle. In the finale, a giant shoe replica rolled out to center stage.


As guests left, they would visit our car wash gift shop” next to Anderson .Paak’s Impala to pick up some free swag — in a socially distanced manner of course.

(COVID) Safety First

We planned the entire event with coronavirus in mind. The experience was truly contactless and drivers could enjoy it without ever leaving their vehicles. We also:

  • Hired a COVID Compliance Officer who cleaned and sanitized surfaces throughout the day.
  • Required masks, encouraged social distancing and used trays or gloves at consumer touchpoints to prevent direct contact.
  • Required staff to provide a negative COVID test at least 72 hours before arrival.
  • Required staff to visit a COVID check-in station to get temperatures and complete a questionnaire.
  • Integrated safety messaging throughout the space. 
  • Coordinated and enforced capacity limits throughout the location.

We wrote an article on our learnings here!

It was like the MTV awards in front of my car!

Alynette Gladney, KCAQ Radio, clean car owner


We achieved everything we set out to do — and beyond — despite surprises at every corner. People singing and dancing in their cars, products flying off the shelves, millions in earned media impressions, hype from celebrities, and features on most major sneaker rags.