Food and Music: A Dual-Purpose Immersive Marketing Experience

Client: Friends of Public Radio KJZZ                                                                                                  

Project: Custom Mobile Broadcasting Studio and Food Truck

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Customer Vision

The vision of Friends of Public Radio was to create a multi-purpose vehicle capable of traveling within Maricopa County (Arizona) offering live music, storytelling, and recording opportunities to the public.

The mission of this custom truck incorporated strategic opportunities to increase impact of public radio within the community, targeting the younger segment with the food truck element, and generate visibility for community musicians.

APEX Design and Engineering Solution

Specialty trucks and trailers can be built for a variety of uses – from food service and command centers to mobile retail stores, and anything in between! APEX had the opportunity to partner with NPR, Friends of Public Radio, for the build out of a 40-ft custom vehicle with a food truck side, custom fold-out performance stage, and a fully operable production and recording studio. Friends of Public Radio is a 501(c)(3) charity with parameters outlined within their strategic plan.

As a leading builder of high-end food and marketing trucks for national restaurants and brands, APEX welcomed the design and engineering complexity of the NPR project. This offered an opportunity for all departments to push the envelope, from engineering and sales to production and fabrication. The truck incorporates many features that are unique to custom builds, and truly haven’t been done before.

One feature is the baggage compartment that opens as a single piece, which offers a sleek and innovative design element. In addition, custom lighting is mounted below the truck and a purple LED glow can be seen underneath. Another very cool design feature is the stairs and door way into the mobile broadcasting studio. When the door is opened, the stairs automatically come out and down for easy accessibility and functionality.

The fully-equipped industrial-style kitchen in the rear of NPR’s 40-ft custom truck is the ideal setup for the famous Short Leash Hot Dogs. The 9 x 12 kitchen space is equipped with equipment to grill their gourmet hot dogs served from the Soundbite food truck.

This custom truck departed from APEX’s facility in the Kansas City, MO area and was delivered January 2017, where it immediately began to participate in community events, including Scottsdale Arts Festival; Spark! Mesa’s Festival of Creativity; and the M7 Street Fair in Phoenix’s Melrose district.

“The concept for Soundbite was entrepreneurial,” said Lou Stanley, director of strategic initiatives for KJZZ. “We asked ourselves how we could move within communities around Maricopa County, with music, storytelling and recording opportunities.”

“Soundbite isn’t just about creating broadcast content, but
an engagement opportunity—whether it’s helping other organizations generate interest in what they’re doing or giving visibility to local musical groups.”

A Word from the APEX Engineer

“The coolest part about the NPR project was being able to grasp the vision of Friends of Public Radio, and help design the unit, bringing it to life. The ability to build a one-of-a-kind vehicle for a cutting edge mission for NPR was the most rewarding aspect.”  – APEX Project Manager

View the project photo gallery