This recent experiential brand activation in Stockholm, Sweden, unsuspectingly confronted pedestrians with a challenge from Reebok. In order to promote their new shoe, the Reebok ZPump 2.0, the company set up a display case full of shoes that also had a speed camera. The challenge to the consumer was simple: run faster than 17kilometers per hour (approximately 10.5 miles per hour) and you win a free pair of the shoes from the display case.
While not the first challenge of its kind, Reebok’s “Are You Fast Enough” was able to engage consumers and showcase its brand in a way that was in line with the company’s tagline “Be more human.” The fun, competitive atmosphere created something that was “disruptive and unique,” according to Markus Schramm of ad agency Animal, which created the project. The results were staggering with 172,992 Youtube views in the first 48 hours.
Why it worked:
– Reebok’s “Are You Fast Enough” tapped into one of the fundamental human natures: competition. By creating a challenge rooted in their branding goals, the company was able to effectively reach and engage customers in this experience. It also gained the attention of many advertising and marketing publications from around the globe, so not only did it engage and excite consumers, it has a lasting impact long after the marketing campaign was implemented.
– This project is a great example of how a company can take their brand and bring it to life via an experience. While the goal of any such activation is to increase awareness of the product, Reebok managed to not only create excitement centered around the product but also immerse the participants in the brand itself. By making running look fun, Reebok created an advertisement that inspired consumers to run and push their limits.
As we embark on the fourth quarter of 2015, we would like to look back at our favorite unique, extravagant, and immersive experiential activations of the year. We’ve seen giant companies like Bud Light and McDonald’s continue to flex their experiential muscle, as usual, but we’ve also seen a lot of other up and coming companies utilizing experiential to gain market share and create a buzz. We’ve followed along with the experiential trends anywhere from promotional mobile tours, to pop-up shops, to full-blown music festivals, and compiled a list of our four favorite activations, in no particular order:
Panda Express – Food Truck Tour
For decades Panda Express’ most popular dish has been the infamous orange chicken. Even despite the popularity of the delicious chicken, Panda Express decided to gain even more momentum for its brand and thus the #OrangeChickenLove Food Truck Tour was born. From early August till the end of the September the orange chicken food truck embarked on a cross-country 8-city tour handing out free orange chicken and rice samples to all visitors along the eight stops. Along with free food samples, orange chicken loving brand ambassadors snapped pictures of guests, shared posts on social media, and guided guests to play several interactive games to win more prizes.
Gotham/Fox – Gotham Zip Line
Fox Entertainment wanted to go out with a BANG to advertise for “Gotham,” the new Batman-inspired crime TV series that was released in early 2015. To create hype for the release of the new show, Fox went out to San Diego’s 45th Comic-Con to give a real-life superhero experience to all Comic-Con guests. Through a realistic Gotham City skyline, fans were able to zip-line above buildings, acting as if they were soaring through the sky, on their way to fight crime. The zip-line experience created an immediate adrenaline rush, and those willing to soar through the skies received a memorable photo and a free Gotham t-shirt. To further promote the show over the Comic-Con festival, Fox partnered up with Uber for an advertising promotion that would gain considerable exposure throughout San Diego. Comic-Con goers, who also had Uber, could open up the Uber app and select Gotham PD under the slider to reserve the ride. When the Uber drivers pulled up, fans were immediately surprised as they would be getting free Uber rides in custom, antique style Gotham Police cars. Overall, the activation was an astounding success, resulting in over 6,000 fans soaring through the sky on the zip-line experience and thousands of additional impressions through the Gotham-Uber experience.
Nike – Pop-up Shoebox
Back in February Nike released its new smartphone app, SNKRS, that allowed consumers to design and customize their own Nike shoes and then purchase and pickup their creation at their local Nike store. To generate buzz for the SNKRS app Nike needed to create a unique and Nike-style activation that would blow consumers’ minds. Within the first few weeks of the app launch, giant Nike shoeboxes started popping up in Los Angeles and New York City. The giant pop-up shoebox store was a completely customer retail store featuring LED exterior walls that mimicked the iconic Nike shoebox design. Inside the store was a very modern retail environment with iPads, TVs, and store fixtures showcasing Nike’s newest shoe releases. Nike employees in the store helped guests use the SNKRS app and showed customers how they could design their sneakers and then share their creation via social media. For true shoe enthusiasts that wanted to purchase shoes, they could design custom sneakers (Air Force 1, Air Max, Foamposite, or Air Jordan’s) and then have the shoes delivered to them in-store through a custom sneaker vending machine. The giant shoebox pop-up store was only in New York City for a week, but it generated thousands of impressions, both for the store and the new app, as well as hundreds of on-site sales.
Upslope Beer – Oktoberfest Lager Release
Colorado craft beer brand, Upslope, was releasing their newest Oktoberfest Lager and they needed a unique way to showcase the beer, the brand, and the numerous connections to Colorado. To position the brand as an after-adventure cold beer reward, they crafted the Backcountry Tap Room, consisting of a hiking, food, beer, and music experience in Winter Park, Colorado. Beer enthusiasts took a 2.3 mile hike through Winter Park to get to the end of the High Lonesome Trail, where a rustic environment was created with a custom bar, tree stump seating, outdoor games, and free beer. Hundreds of Upslope beer fans joined in on the experience to try the new Oktoberfest Lager and those who posted pictures of themselves on social media using the #ApresEverything tag at the event were entered into a contest to win free beer for the year.
If you’ve never heard the term “pop-up dinner”, then you’re in for a tasty treat. Pop-up dinners were started in the UK over 10 years ago and received considerable media attention for the magnificently elaborate dinners that were set up in random locations all over the map. The pop-up dinners have a few basic requirements: everyone brings their own food, beverages, picnic table with chairs, and they must wear white. Through social media, the group of people putting on the event will disclose the date and time of the event, but the location of the event is kept a secret until the day of the dinner. The entire format is extremely exclusive, adding to the overall experience for any guest lucky enough to get the location details.
This Summer, Acura has joined in on the pop-up dinner trend and has used the opportunity to subtly advertise Acura vehicles in specifically targeted locations throughout the United States. Acura announced the city of the event along with the time, date, and attire information on social media before the event. When the day finally came, and attendees arrived at the secret location at the specified date and time, they were greeted with beautiful decor and a breathtaking setting. Acura had subtle hints of advertising throughout the event including Acura-branded name cards at each table, a custom Acura TLX photo booth, and three brand new Acura model vehicles (in white, of course).
Acura used this exclusive pop-up dinner event as a unique way to create meaningful connections between their brand and audience. The company was also able to take advantage of an opportunity to work with luxury and lifestyle media, as opposed to the traditional automobile media the company usually interacts with at auto shows across the world. Since launching the pop-up dinners in June, Acura has seen great audience engagement and feedback. Future events have been announced in Los Angeles and Dallas, and have already earned thousands of signups on social media to get the invite and the details about the event location.
Why Acura’s Pop-Up Dinner Worked – The Pineapple View:
Acura was able to interact with an engaged audience through a unique dining experience that was enhanced by the Acura brand.
Acura’s first two pop-up dinners have resulted in thousands of social media posts and engagement from 40% of the attendees.
By having total ownership of the event, Acura was able to create an elegant, immersive experience that was authentic and subtle, allowing people to engage with the brand in a non-threatening and low-pressure setting.
With these pop-up dinners, Acura has been able to take a unique approach to marketing, creating memorable experiences in a localized and low-key way. Acura has also been able to introduce itself as a luxury automaker that wants to enhance your everyday driving experience. We are excited to see how Acura builds additional momentum from their pop-up dinner experiences and hope to see one pop-up in Denver soon!
To check out more about the Acura Pop-Up Dinner experience click here.
Living in the era of Amazon Prime has spoiled us. In a world where almost anything can be shipped right to your door in two days, just the thought of getting in the car, driving to a brick-and-mortar big box store, and wasting countless minutes trying to find that one thing you need is enough to make you want to sink even deeper into those couch cushions, let that next episode auto-play on Netflix, and put it off till tomorrow.
In this retail paradigm shift where large traditional stores are starting to lose customers to online retailers, pop-up stores are beginning to, well… “pop up” all over the place. Many online retailers are beginning to realize that a foray into flash retailing can be the ticket to earning new customers, creating buzz, and establishing a connection with your fans in a way that only face-to-face marketing can.
What is a Pop-Up Shop?
Sometimes referred to as temporary retail, pop-up stores, or flash retail, pop-up shops are temporary and/or mobile retail spaces that are placed in high-foot-traffic areas, and can sell any kind of merchandise. Pop-up stores usually last between one day and up to a few months.
Why Start a Pop-Up Shop?
Make sales: A huge percentage of all purchases are still made offline. Having a physical location opens up another channel for sales. Plus, the convenience of a pop-up shop can also lead to impulse purchases.
Generate impressions: Open a shop in a visible location with good foot traffic, and you’ll earn thousands and thousands of impressions every day.
Be creative: Make your shop unique and eye-catching, and you could earn valuable social shares, viral buzz, and attention from traditional media outlets.
Engage with customers: A pop-up shop is actually an experiential activation in disguise! Having a physical location lets you engage your customers face to face and generate meaningful and memorable interactions.
Lower costs: Pop-up shops allow you to have a physical presence without investing a lot of money, time, and other resources into a full-blown physical storefront. This allows you to prove your concept in a low-risk environment.
What Kinds of Pop-Up Shops Are There?
There are a lot of ways to pop your shop. Here are a handful of options available to make your pop-up store as unique and memorable as your brand.
1. Mobile Vehicle: Mobile Vehicles are the most flexible option. By putting your store on wheels, you can set up shop anywhere you want, establish a following on social media as you live-tweet your location, and really make a lasting impression. A custom vehicle wrap allows your shop to be a billboard for your brand both while you’re parked and on the move.
2. Street Level Space:This space is usually in line with full-fledged retail stores, meaning you get big-league exposure without the big-league commitment. However, it can be hard to get a hold of this type of space, since landlords prefer long-term tenants. You’ll need to move quickly to secure a street level space, and be willing to pay extra for it.
3. Kiosks/Booth Space: Found in malls, shopping centers, and markets, kiosks are a small and nimble option that allows you to capitalize on built-in foot traffic. With little setup and initial investment, this option is great for a first foray into the world of pop-up shops.
4. Store-Within-a-Store:This win-win option allows you to join forces with a local retailer and occupy some unused space in their existing store. Making sure you pick a good partner is crucial – you don’t want to be competitors, but you’ll want to make sure that you share a similar customer base. Assuming you choose the right type of store to partner with, you’ll gain access to their regular flow of customers, and in return, they’ll get to offload some of their rent.
5. Pop-Up Exhibit: Pop-up exhibits are more pricey, but allow for a truly unique design, presentation, and experience for customers. Pop-up exhibits can be made out of shipping containers or similar structures, or can be completely custom built.