sonos brilliant sound experience

4 Experiential Campaigns That Killed It Without Using Facebook Ads

sonos brilliant sound experience
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One of the biggest challenges that marketers face is deciding where to allocate their budget. We’ve seen global brands like Patagonia, REI, and Adidas pledge to join the #StopHateForProfit campaign against Facebook and pause all ads and ad spend on the platform in July. 

With brands pledging to #SHFP, retail on its way back up after the pandemic, and brand authenticity more important than ever, now is an opportune time for brands to utilize experiential marketing. We put together a list of four notable experiential campaigns that yielded impressive results without ever using Facebook ads. 

#1 The Under Armour Drone Drop

Agency: The Pineapple Agency

It’s 2018 and Under Armour and Steph Curry need an exciting way to deliver the new Curry 4 sneakers to an already saturated market. On a windy day in San Francisco, 10 drones were launched off of yachts, each carrying a pair of Curry 4 shoes. Fans used an app to uncover hidden drop zones that were located throughout San Francisco. They arrived at the drop zones to place their sneaker orders on iPads and within minutes the drones dropped the sneakers directly to fans. 

This campaign went viral, earning 16M social media impressions, 119M media impressions, 25k leads captured, and Gold at the annual EX Awards for “Leap of Faith.” It delighted fans and had the ultimate “cool” factor without spending a nickel on Facebook ads. 

Smart Marketer Takeaway: 

The right brand, idea, and experiential agency can partner to generate noteworthy results without using paid media. That’s the value of creating an experience. You’re not only looking at viral video views and quantitative returns, but you get key insights on consumer behavior in real-time. 

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#2 Sonos’ Brilliant Sound Experience

Agency: Anyways

Sonos partnered with Google Assistant to show that their products went beyond sound, and that music is a multi-sensory experience. Sonos launched a three-day experience with interactive installations in NYC that focused on sound, music, and light. The “Physics Room” utilized hundreds of strands of individual lights to demonstrate the unique experience of every performance. “The Structure of a Song Room,” featured sculptures with hidden stems in each. As viewers explored the space, they would hear different strains of the song based on the sculpture they were near. 

While this could’ve been just another opportunity for participants to get a cool Instagram photo, Sonos went above and beyond to incorporate the latest technology to entertain and educate consumers on the dimensions of sound. The event’s free tickets were sold out before the doors ever opened. More than 3,300 people attended and it attracted a wide range of press from the New York Times to VICE to AdWeek. 

Smart Marketer Takeaway:

Consumers are looking for meaningful, educational, and authentic experiences with brands. Gen Z has more than $140B in spending power in today’s economy and they are attracted to brands that have honest and authentic identities. Lean in to experiential to help tell the truth about your brand and what you care about. As we’ve all seen in 2020 thus far, brand transparency is more important than ever. 

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#3 Virgin Galactic Spacewear System Unveiling 

Agency: In-house Virgin and Under Armour teams

Press events are the ultimate opportunity for a brand to utilize experiential marketing tactics, which are the most effective way to ensure people can recall your brand’s story. Virgin Galactic and Under Armour teamed up for a proprietary spacewear apparel line and unveiled the spacesuits inside an indoor skydiving tunnel. The suits were revealed by skydiving world champs performing a dance in the air in the zero-gravity simulator and it was later revealed that Richard Branson was one of the air dancers! 

This event offered attendees a first-of-its-kind fashion show and let them see the commercial spacewear system before the rest of the world. The effort generated more than 2.5 billion impressions without any kind of pre-event promotion or advertising on Facebook. 

Smart Marketer Takeaway:

Influencers (like Richard Branson) should always be considered as a tactic for your experiential strategy. With more people at home researching brands’ responses to the pandemic, influencers have the ability to reach your audience quicker and without boosted promotion. 

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#4 The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

Agency: McGarryBowen, Olson Engage

Lastly, you can’t talk about the history of experiential marketing without mentioning the OG – the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Over thirty years ago, Oscar Mayer created the Hotdogger program, where recent college graduates apply to be selected to operate a Wienermobile. Since then, it’s gone viral, been offered as an Airbnb stay, and there are thousands of applications for Weinermobiles each year. 

When the Weinermobile launched decades ago, Oscar Mayer relied on experiential marketing in its purest form by using guerilla marketing tactics and emotional connections to drive brand awareness. The brand understood the importance of forging a connection with the public and generating lifetime value over immediate sales ROI. Mark Zuckerberg was three years old when the Hotdogger program launched – needless to say, the students did not find out about the opportunity via Facebook.

Smart Marketer Takeaway: 

Strive to be authentic as a brand, especially in today’s climate. Oscar Mayer is successful because they have never wavered in staying true to who they are and the marketing strategies that work for them. Guerrilla marketing done right is a polished skill and brands should utilize experiential agencies for the right execution. 

If you’re a brand that’s pledged to the #SHFP campaign, have you considered new ways to allocate your marketing funds? Experiential marketing is ripe with opportunity because it can break through the noise, connect with consumers directly, and get your company the insights it needs for future campaigns. With the right experience design, you can be the hero of your brand’s marketing team and execute creative ideas and strategies for your brand in a post-pandemic world. 

Are you looking to build brand awareness, but don’t know where to start? Sign up for a free brainstorm session with Pineapple’s top creative minds. 

Man wearing VR headset and painting

Virtual Reality and Experiential Marketing

Virtual Reality(VR) is a wondrous playground.  Done right, VR creates an unforgettable experience, leaving an emotional connection with the consumer.  Engaging consumers with creative ideas that shock them, can transport them to another place and time.  VR is seeing a computer generated world through goggled lenses.  Imagine, providing a customized experience that the user can immerse themselves in.  This is next level marketing my friends.  Doing this right means connecting the consumer with storytelling on a much deeper level.

Making the Unreal Feel Real.

Virtual Reality and Experiential Marketing

Today’s technology allows experiential marketers to deploy Virtual Reality as part of their bag of tricks.  The addition of VR can make a marketing campaign come alive, literally.  What do VR platforms look like?  Words can’t do it justice.  These platforms are experienced rather than discussed.  They create a world where the user is swept up into something magical.  An experience that will leave an indelible impression, the goal of all experiential campaigns.  This is what makes VR the ideal partner for experiential.

Don’t you want people lined up outside your store?  You won’t get that using generic banner ads.  You get that attendance by creating an enveloping world for your audience to escape to.  You make them feel part of the story—and in some cases, you help them tell the story themselves.  People want to take part in experiential/VR marketing campaigns.  Matthias McCoy-Thompson explains this in a cool, psychedelic way:

“Because our minds respond to virtual environments the same way we do to real ones and the virtual environment can be manipulated to fit any situation, marketers can perfectly design simulations to make products more desirable.”

VR combined with experiential has higher user engagement and often, higher retention.

Benefits of VR in Experiential Campaigns

VR and experiential is all about one thing:  helping the consumer experience something without requiring them to physically be there.  Imagine trying on clothes in a high-end department store without actually visiting the store—or the city in where it’s located.  Are you in the market for an engagement ring for your fiancée?  Build that ring from the confines of home and slip it on her finger for her to see.  With the help of innovative tech, the consumer can control their environment remotely.  This is how VR is changing experiential.  Experiential campaigns can now scale on an unprecedented level.  This enables them reach an untold number of consumers.

Virtual Reality and Experiential Marketing

Experiential is combining with VR to make marketing content social.  Having your campaign go viral means more engagement from audiences—in many instances, global audiences.  You’re creating millions of brand advocates in one fell swoop.  This is social thought leadership of the highest order.

What Pineapple Can do for You

The Pineapple Agency is at the forefront of creating edgy, fun and incredibly wild virtual reality and experiential marketing campaigns.  We push the boundaries of creativity to give our clients—and consumers—a one-of-a-kind experience.  We believe the advances of virtual reality will inform experiential.  This allows us to connect with consumers on a deeper level than ever before.

In need of the next wild and crazy idea?

Let’s chat.


Man swimming and doing the breast stroke

“A New World” – Top Activations from 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Sporting events get no bigger than The Olympics. A colossal world-wide spectacle, the Olympic Games feature supreme athletes. There’s also no shortage of media messaging. Brands are looking to create a Michael Phelps-sized splash with consumers.

And what does grand spectacle need but more grand spectacle. Experiential activations are the perfect way to complement the magnificence of the games. Especially when brands like Coca-Cola and Samsung are setting the pace.

The Pineapple Agency knows a thing or three about awesome experiential campaigns. It’s what we do. We wanted to highlight a few amazing activations that impressed us, for you below.

Here are three examples of kick-ass experiential activations from Rio 2016:

  • Samsung: Fans were invited to Samsung Galaxy Studios to interact with the latest tech offerings from the company. Samsung featured Virtual Reality experiences so visitors could live the Olympic sporting life. At select studios there was a 4D experience. This allowed people to kayak as if they were actually on the water. Visitors could also try out Samsung products. The results matched the grand creativity. Samsung, praised for its activation, garnered an incredible 20,635 mentions and racking up an index ranking of 103 points. This made Samsung the standout sponsor of the 2016 Games. The closest competitor was our next entrant:
  • Coca-Cola: As part of their #ThatsGold Campaign, Coca-Cola created a fan zone designed just for teenagers. Smack dab in the heart of Rio De Janeiro. The space was inspired by the bubbles inside a Coke bottle. It also housed several experiential installations specifically designed for one purpose—to Tweet, Snap and share. For Coke, being teens being social was the thing. An estimated 150,000 fans visited the station during the games. Coca-Cola placed second to Samsung with 17,405 mentions and 94 points on the index ranking scale. Wow!
  • Panasonic: Panasonic’s Stadium of Wonders tech showcase was created to allow fans to design their own Olympic moments, and learn the history of the games. The Activation included the latest tech and showcased transparent screens and new Light ID technology. Experiential activations for a sporting event such as this should be big, showy and exciting. The Games themselves are a spectacle. If you’re going to compete with them, you better bring your “A” game and knock it out of the park. These brands understood this. They also understood who their audience was; creating something their fans were excited to be a part of.

Have you ever attended an Olympic event? Image, showing up for an event and taking part in an experiential campaign. Who wouldn’t want to jump into a bubble from a Coke bottle? I’m standing in that line all day.

Want to learn how The Pineapple Agency can inject a little spice into your product or brand?

Let’s chat.

Sneakers in rain

Why Reebok’s “Are You Fast Enough” Worked

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.

Interested in Experiential Marketing?

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Why Mountain Dew’s Virtual Reality Skate Experience Worked

Why Mountain Dew’s Virtual Reality Skate Experience Worked

Do you ever wish you could get on your skateboard, cruise down the Las Vegas strip, and do kick flips with Paul Rodriguez and some of the best skateboarders in the world? Well now you can…all from the convenience and comfort of your couch!

Mountain Dew, who has spent the past decade sponsoring extreme sports athletes and competitions all over the world, has invested in creating a whole new immersive experience for its fans. Through the use of virtual reality, Mountain Dew is putting fans in the middle of the experience, allowing them to ride the Las Vegas Strip down to Fremont Street with Paul Rodriguez and other skateboarders on the Mountain Dew team. The Mountain Dew team spent days skating around Las Vegas capturing hours of thrilling content that was all converted into a virtual reality video that users can download for their smartphone or view in-person at the Mtn Dew VR stations at each stop on the Dew Tour throughout the country.

Mountain Dew set up the first VR station at a Dew Tour stop in Brooklyn and it caught the attention of thousands of spectators. Fans lined up for hours to try on the VR headset to experience VR Skate in Las Vegas, and the fan reaction was outstanding, with thousands of fans sharing their experience on social media channels using the hashtag, DOTHEDEW. More technologically savvy fans who have their own Samsung VR headset could download the content on the Samsung Milk VR marketplace and view the content on their own devices for a more personalized experience.

Why Mountain Dew’s Virtual Reality Skate Experience Worked – The Pineapple View:

  • Mountain Dew merged technology and their sports sponsorship of extreme athletes to create engaging content that put fans in the middle of the experience, allowing them to virtually participate in extreme sports regardless of their athletic ability.
  • By leveraging its existing sponsorships, Mountain Dew was able to create thrilling content based on the sports its fans enjoy. In the future, the company can capture content from other sports encouraging more fans to join in on the virtual experience.
  • Utilizing #DOTHEDEW allowed Mountain Dew to track interactions on social media and will let the fans decide on what the next sport the VR experience should be based on.

We believe Mountain Dew did an excellent job of staying on top of industry trends by utilizing virtual reality technology to enhance the fan experience. VR allowed the fan to live in the shoes of professional skateboarders and see what it’s like to grind down rail and go off ramps. This strategy allows Mountain Dew to explore different sport experiences and we are eagerly awaiting to see what sport we can virtually participate in next!

Want to get into experiential  marketing?

Let’s chat.