9 tips for an epic virtual holiday party

With virtual and hybrid events dominating our immediate future, the stakes are higher than ever to pull out all the stops for a memorable remote holiday party. The Pineapple Agency plans and executes in person, virtual, and hybrid corporate events, networking events, and launch parties all year long — but we’re the first to admit, holiday parties for virtual teams can be challenging.

Here are our 9 tips to hosting an epic virtual holiday party:

Photo credit: blog.zoom.us

1. Choose your digital platform

This step is, by far, the most important choice you’ll make when it comes to planning a memorable remote holiday party. The big decision is whether conferencing software, a live streaming platform, or a full-blown broadcast production makes the most sense.  

We recommend the standard conferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams for mid-sized gatherings, parties with a more informal structure, or events with budgets less than $40,000. These platforms offer perks like speed to market, user-friendliness, and are relatively inexpensive. 

If you’re working with an agency to put on your remote holiday party, they will likely (and should) recommend a remote operator or cloud-based production. Remote operators for live stream meetings are a key component to higher production value and a well-orchestrated event. Cloud-based productions are the granddaddy of them all. With this production package, you’re getting broadcast-level production that incorporates multiple forms of content delivery and includes a full, dedicated team that will handle A-Z technical production and logistics. If you’re a Fortune 500 company or aspiring to be, this should be your go-to. 

Photo credit: refinepackaging.com

2. The experience starts with the invitation 

Go ahead and splurge a little on some fun physical invitations for your virtual holiday party. Why not go the extra mile and make it a full unboxing experience? If you’re unfamiliar with the unboxing phenom, check this out for some tips on mastering the art. Maybe your invitations tease the theme of the party, give your guest something to wear, or hint at something special happening to get people excited to tune in. Whatever the final approach, don’t overlook this initial touchpoint. 

3. Automate registration, RSVPs, and reminders

This one is mostly about streamlining the scheduling logistics. With so many digital options like Eventbrite, Google Forms, or custom microsites you can set up with an agency partner, you can save yourself the headache and head counting by letting your guests do the work for you. Even something as simple as branding the registration process is a great way to set the tone and build the excitement leading up to the event. 

Photo credit: independent.co.uk

4. Now, let’s talk F+B

The most important ingredient for a good party. Aside from taking the potluck dinner right to people’s doors, you’ve got plenty of great options to give your guests a great holiday spread. Real-time delivery services are going to be your best friend here. Create a company prepaid card or give out gift cards or stipends to use DoorDash or UberEats during the party. As for the beverage, be sure to send out some party care packages beforehand with all the fixings for great cocktail mixers and snacks. This is a great way to send a little token of your appreciation to your employees who’ve taken all the changes of 2020 in stride. 

5. Give a run of show…and stick to it 

A great host always lets guests in on what to expect during the party, i.e. agenda and timeline. It’s an even better experience when you send out the agenda along with registration and then stick with the outlined agenda and timeline. 

As with any party, let your guests know the dress code. Is there a theme? If so, don’t keep that to yourself. Let your guests know with plenty of time in advance to ensure everyone is on the same page and able to participate. That being said, make sure your guests know if they’re expected to be on camera or not. Making sure everyone is on-board with the plan will ensure the night runs as smoothly as possible, given the changing virtual circumstances.

6. Here’s to hosting

As the host, it’s your role to manage the flow of the party and keep it professional. It may be tempting to think you can just let your guests mingle as if it were an in-person party but that simply doesn’t translate well in the virtual space. It can get awkward pretty quickly if no one is leading the charge or multiple people are vying to take lead. 

Additionally, take the time beforehand to give your camera and audio a double check. Roughly 50% of people say what they dislike the most about virtual events is low video quality or low production quality — so don’t underestimate investing in the production value even if it’s “just a virtual holiday party”. Agencies often have all-in-one components or production kits that boost your street credibility as a virtual host — be sure to ask about your options. 

7. Bring on the party games

As much as we believe that you can give the world’s most thrilling monologue, it’s so important to make the event as interactive as possible. 91% of recent survey respondents chose “Keeping members connected” as a primary goal of virtual events. How you have everyone participate is going to be the distinction between a party and a business presentation. 

Throw in some games, trivia for prizes, maybe some voting or polls with high stakes. Some of these ideas can get more complicated than others but event planners and experiential marketing agencies typically have a network of digital partners that can streamline this for you.

8. Find something to celebrate

It’s been a bleak year to say the least but it’s up to you as the host, to dig deep and find some positives. Maybe your company had an increased number of promotions or your customer satisfaction score increased. Maybe Todd, the senior software engineer, finally cut his mullet after 10 years. Whatever it is, find something to celebrate including all those immeasurable things — the loyalty of the company’s employees, the hard work that everyone’s put in, the strength for parents to do full-time parenting, and full-time work, etc. Of course, virtual can’t replace the rambunctious annual holiday party everyone knows and loves, but you can plan it in a way that is at least a good time.

9. Repurpose your budget

On the surface, virtual parties may seem like they’d be less expensive to put on. But in order to host a great virtual company holiday party, you need it to be executed smoothly with no bandwidth issues, crashes, or freezing up. So even though you save on venue costs, a good virtual experience is going to cost you. Put the money that would be going towards the venue and spend it on your guests instead — deliver a thoughtful gift, send a care package of holiday goodies, and maybe a little something extra or unexpected for the year that was plenty extra and unexpected. 

That’s a wrap

Virtual holiday parties may not compare to the real thing, but there are still plenty of ways to make them worth the investment and time so you make your guests feel truly celebrated. However you choose to come together to reflect on the events of the past year, it should be personalized, engaging, and epic in its own way. 

Sports and Experiential Marketing – What’s the new play?

Same Game, New Rules

SWISH. The atmosphere is nothing less than electric. Everyone is on their feet now. Time stands still as thousands of eyes are all fixed on the same scene unfolding in front of them. The faint swoosh of the net and blaring of the buzzer is drowned out by the eruption of roars from the crowd…Whether you’re a SportsCenter junkie or an occasional fan, it’s hard to beat the thrill of live sports. In a non-COVID world, sports and experiential marketing go hand-in-hand, but for the time being, stadiums remain empty or only partially full. Regardless, sports fans and brands alike have found creative uses of technology to bridge the gap between the couch and the court-side. 

Here’s a brief look at the landscape of sports and experiential marketing as its evolved:


With consumer behaviors in constant flux, marketers are challenged with the task of adjusting along with their audiences. After a tumultuous 2019 season, the NBA was forced to halt play in March just before the playoffs. The season suspension was the first sobering moment of just how widespread the impact of the virus would soon become. At the time the season was suspended in March 2020, there were still 259 games left in the 2019/20 NBA regular season. 

Photo credit: usatoday.com

With the proverbial shot-clock ticking, the NBA and it’s sponsors weren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. After months off, the season resumed within the highly monitored Disney Bubble with relative success, proving a path forward for contact sports like basketball. With the restart, brands have been quick to employ the latest in live-streaming tech to bring the experience and excitement of sport to fans. Michelob Ultra, the official beer of the NBA, didn’t miss a beat and took their sports and experiential marketing strategy online offering the chance for virtual court-side seats to the Finals. Using its Teams “Together” mode, Microsoft has designed stadium-like experiences for 300 fans to watch their teams play and interact with each other from giant 17-foot screens surrounding the court. While of course, recreating all the excitement online doesn’t translate perfectly, features like the “Tap-to-Cheer” option on the NBA and WNBA apps give fans and players a chance to make the best of an awkward situation. On the app, brands and athletes have a natural way to interact with sports fans who can still show their support and give their favorite teams the home-court advantage from their own homes. 

Home Advantage

Speaking of home advantage — with fans unable to come to them, brands are having to get a little bit more creative when delivering experiences. And Bud Light, a brand integrated into sports and experiential marketing more than any other, is taking that challenge literally. When sports seasons were allowed to resume, Bud Light was ready to go the extra mile for sports-starved fans. After the anticipated return of the NHL season, Bud Light teamed up with Drizly to deliver some celebratory beers right to fan’s doors in true hockey fashion – by way of a big Bud Light blue Zamboni. Since the campaign’s initial puck drop, they’ve expanded their delivery offering to include Bud Light Platinum and Bud Light Seltzer through 21 different retailers. Not to mention, as part of the There’s a Bud Light There campaign, the brand hailed the return of baseball season by creating a few video spots with a light-hearted quarantine-take on the classic “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. With a little ingenuity Bud Light has been able to make it easier for fans to find something to celebrate, even if it’s just some comic relief. 

Photo credit: twitter.com

The Pandemic-Proof Sport

Esports and online gaming leagues have surged in popularity since the pandemic hit. Though the leagues had to cancel live competitions in the wake of the virus, it still thrives online through streaming platforms like Twitch. What was once an online niche has exploded into the mainstream and brands are taking notice. We’re seeing big brands like United Airlines getting in on the action and initiating esports sponsorships during the pandemic. By teaming up with sports, they’re combining something tangible AND digital. This is an innovative, fresh, brand marketing opportunity for an established brand like United. This isn’t a one-off blip — expect to see more and more brands following suit as professional gaming starts stepping center stage.  

Taking a Timeout

Through all of the lockdowns, quarantining, and self-isolation, social media, and live video have offered all of us a way to safely stay connected as well as giving brand marketers another outlet for activation. Brands like GoPro and JPMorgan Chase rely heavily on event marketing and sponsorships throughout the year, but both brands found themselves facing the unique challenge of having marketing dollars set aside to spend on events and suddenly nowhere for it to go in 2020. GoPro pivoted to #HomePro — social media-based sweepstakes challenging consumers to find adventure in their own homes and submitting their most creative at-home adventure video or photo for a chance to win free gear, discount codes, and other prizes. Chase kicked off the U.S. Open tennis tournament with Chase Sound Check, a live virtual concert with performances by Khalid, Kane Brown, and Chloe x Halle and hosted by Serena Williams. Additionally, Chase launched the #UnlocktheOpen Twitter sweepstakes where the brand is delivering more than 8,000 free boxes of branded swag and treats from local bakeries to consumers who participate. Both campaigns have been a success with thousands of submissions from all over the globe proving that with a little creativity and new messaging, brands can still connect with fans from a distance. 

Whole New Ball Game

Of course, everyone is missing the thrill of in-venue sports and with football season upon us, this fall just won’t feel the same without time-honored traditions like The Bud Light x Broncos tailgating and stadium experience. But even with all this change, those of us in the business of building creative experiences are finding ways to stay connected and keep the relationship between sports and experiential marketing alive, even if it’s from a tv screen rather than a stadium seat. Agencies, brand sponsors, and technology developers have taken the change in stride and aren’t viewing it as an obstacle to overcome, but an opportunity for experimenting with creative solutions and emerging tech. By weaving together digital and live experiences into hybrid events, brands are pioneering new solutions to reimagine the fan experience and even bring a little bit of much needed normal to our lives. 

Social media on phone in city

The Benefits of Combining Social With An Experiential Marketing Strategy

The business world is more competitive than ever. While the internet facilitates and simplifies many aspects of marketing for consumers, it has also leveled the playing field in a way that’s made it even trickier to stand out from the competition. Furthermore, it’s made consumers even fickler than ever. After all, if they don’t like the messages they’re seeing, they can simply click their way to greener pastures. As a result of these and related phenomena, experiential marketing strategy has quickly become one of the most effective ways to stand out in such a noisy marketplace of goods, services, and brands. When combined with social media, experiential marketing strategy can take your brand to places you’ve never dreamed.

The Benefits of Combining Social With An Experiential Marketing Strategy

On its own, experiential marketing is an excellent way to engage directly with consumers. By giving them a way to actively participate in the evolution of a brand, you simultaneously enhance loyalty and influence their future buying decisions. What’s not to like about that? Nothing, of course! Still, unless you’re a very large, visible brand, getting people involved in your experiential marketing events can be difficult. That’s where social media comes in. The key is engaging consumers where they are, and currently, most of them spend copious amounts of time on social media.

Social Media Marketing Evolved

The marriage of social and experiential has been a winning combination for some time. There have been some pretty great examples in recent years, for example, for Fashion Week 2014, Marc Jacobs set up the Daisy Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop, which only accepted “social currency” as payment. By social currency, the brand meant mentions on major social media channels. Consumers were instructed to tweet about the brand using the hashtag #MJDaisyChain and could then use those posts as currency with which to make purchases from the shop. Talk about a seamless blending of social media and experiential marketing!

Fortunately, you don’t need to have the clout or resources of Marc Jacobs to make the most of experiential and social. A very popular experiential marketing technique is to hold a pop-up event for a brand. It must be engaging enough to compel attendees to want to participate. The question, though, is how to ensure event awareness. The usual tactic is to hold the popup somewhere where there’s guaranteed to be a ton of foot traffic–preferably of the desired target demographic. By using social media to raise awareness, pop-up events have a better shot at being successful and garnering the desired attendance.

In addition to marketing special experiential events, social media can also be used to engage consumers after events to keep your brand top of mind with engaged consumers. For example, consumers can be encouraged to share their experiences on social media in exchange for coupons or other offers after the event. When it comes to experiential, social can truly aid in its effectiveness. We like to think of social as the peanut butter to experiential’s apples. There’s nothing wrong with taking a dip and seeing how sweet it can be for your events!

Want to talk about how The Pineapple Agency can create a dynamic experiential marketing strategy for you?

Let’s chat.

Beer being poured from a tap

How Challenger Beer, Wine and Spirits Brands Can Compete Using Experiential Marketing Tools

The beer, wine and spirits industry is evolving. There is a consumer trend toward premiumization in spirits, more consumers are drinking wine for its diverse flavor profiles and there’s a shift toward higher-quality beers, which has stimulated growth among craft brewers.

In fact, Eugene Kashper, the millionaire owner of Pabst Brewing Company, believes the beer category will continue to shift away from mainstream lagers and be dominated by super-premium, craft, cider, flavored malt beverages and import beers — categories that will make up 70 percent of sales by 2025 by his projections.

For years, Goliaths such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Constellation Brands, and Brown-Forman have led the industry leveraging their massive advertising budgets. But, with consumer palettes continuing to change, there’s now an opportunity for challenger beer, wine, and spirits brands to take market share.

To compete, though, challenger brands must outthink rather than outspend these category dominators. The success of a challenger brand’s marketing is about creating passion through advocacy and activation, not ad spend.

Challenger beer, wine, and spirits brands are increasingly turning to experiential to make a deeper connection with consumers. Once an afterthought to traditional advertising, events are now a cornerstone of many marketing plans. In fact, experiential and event marketing budgets increased by 6.1% in 2015 according to the EventTrack 2015 report.

In an increasingly digital world, experiential activations are providing consumers a full sensory experience including the opportunity to taste, smell and play with brands — in person. Live, face-to-face, events are being used to gain visibility, entertain and educate. These activations create an emotionalconnection to a brand that cannot be duplicated with mass advertising.

From these events, enthusiastic customers develop a personal link to their favorite beer, wine and spirits brands. They take to social media as an outlet to express their knowledge and passion. This drives word-of-mouth, which

Millennials rank as the number one influencer in their purchasing decisions about packaged goods.

Furthermore, 84% of consumers say that they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products and services – making these recommendations the highest ranked source for trustworthiness according to Nielsen.

Where Should Challenger Brands Start?

  1. Research – Focus on brand, demographics, competitors, trends and marketing theory/tactics.
  2. Imagination – Ideate the visuals, sound, fragrance, interactivity and taste possibilities.
  3. Strategy – Build an in-depth strategy that keeps ideas effective before, during and after the event, both live and digitally.
  4. Fabricate – Design, build, and customize elements to meet the needs of the project.
  5. Creation – Bring the strategy to life in an immersive activation.

With the right experiential strategy and execution, challenger beer, wine,   and spirits brands can use events to develop brand advocates and leverage social media for unprecedented reach. Experiential is the fire and social media is the fuel that will allow these challenger brands to unseat the incumbents.


Can your brand utilize experiential marketing?

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Bud Light neon sign

Case Study: Bud Light House of Whatever Activation


In the height their “Up for Whatever” or “Summer Bucketlist” campaign, Bud Light wanted to continue its momentum of engaging and building loyalty among the Millennial market. The summer was almost over, but it came to Bud Light’s message, the party wasn’t over yet. Bud Light hit the musical festival circuit and fabricated its own specialty viewing area, ‘House of Whatever’ within TomorrowWorld campground. The challenge was to develop an experiential strategy that would engage and excite Bud Light consumers by creating sharable moments at a major music festival while cutting through the clutter of an already crowded experience.


Bud Light had extreme success with the Up For Whatever campaign for the last few years. In 2015, they decided to extend the campaign to music festivals. The music festival industry has skyrocketed, so choosing the correct festival with the right demographic that aligned with Bud Lights message was no easy task. After conducting extensive research, they choose TomorrowWorld in Atlanta,Georgia. With around 160,000 attendees over three days, Bud Light looked to cut through the clutter of traditional festival marketing. When consumers are there for the music experience, grabbing their attention away from it needs to be relevant, authentic and exciting. Thus, the Bud Light House of Whatever was custom fabricated to not just market to consumers, Bud Light wanted to elevate their overall TomorrowWorld experience.

To help Bud Light build excitement and attract attendees to the House of Whatever, The Pineapple Agency created and executed three activations that were unique, immersive and could relate to festivalgoers lifestyle. Though we didn’t create or physical fabricate the House of Whatever, The Pineapple Agency teamed up with Bud Light to create the attendee experience at the House of Whatever to be a memorable and share-worthy experience.


Bud Light enhanced the TomorrowWorld journey for its fans throughout the festival, from a main stage-viewing platform to the Bud Light Camp of Whatever in Dreamville. Bud Light even created six custom TomorrowWorld Beer cans' – designed by TomorrowWorld artists, which correspond with the festivals fairytale theme. The cans were an absolute hit and sold out at the festival.

The Pineapple Agency wanted to create an overall experience within the House of Whatever, to bring fans in and keep them engaged. Because of our agency background in creating and producing major music festivals, we had a great understanding of the demographic and how to engage them. With just a few weeks to create, plan and prep for one of the largest music festivals in the country, we jumped into the festival experience to create something unique and relevant.

The Pineapple Agency strategized and implemented various activations to meet the objectives of the overall experience. The Pineapple Agency created Totem Poles for fans to bring to life. Attendees of music festivals often build custom made totem poles that represent their groups or themselves personality. You often see funny, scary or even politically charged creations. In many cases, the totems are photographed or videoed by fans and press and one of the first things you recognize in the photo or video. The idea to allow fans to build custom Bud Light branded totem poles was a perfect choice. The Pineapple Agency created an assortment of unique totem accessories, enough to make over 2,000 totems. By the second day of limited hours of operation, all 2,000 totems were created and being used around the festival property. Another experience The Pineapple Agency curated was a Creative Lounge. We wanted to create a place where festival attendees could relax and refresh before their next venture around the more than 1,200 acres of festival land. We created an area where they could get free massages, professional makeup artists and body refreshing products. If the attendee chose, they could also have a professional face painter create a magical creation that all their friends would envy.

  • 3 Day Music Festival – Grossed 94 Million, 160,000+ Attendees
  • 3,000+ interactions
  • 100% Fan Engagement
  • Custom Beer Can Sell out

See how The Pineapple Agency can help you out with your next activation!

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Game of thrones poster

Game of Thrones – Experiential Marketing Strategy

The wildly popular television program, Game of Thrones, returns for its highly anticipated sixth season on April 24. HBO has been flexing their marketing muscle to transport their millions of fans into the fantasy world of Westeros (and Essos) with the use of cutting-edge, outside the box experiential marketing strategy and activations. Take a look at how the show has implemented online and offline experiential marketing catch the eyes, imaginations and, of course, wallets of millions.

360 view of intro video

The title sequence of Game of Thrones has become an iconic part of the show as the viewer is treated to a birds-eye panning across the ever-growing map of the Game of Thrones universe. Using 3D video technology, the show invited users to immerse themselves in the world by allowing them to manipulate the point of view and explore the realm first-hand.

Game of Thrones intro

Art The Throne

In this online video series, HBO introduced 5 artists who are commissioning works based on their interpretation of iconic scenes in the series. The installations were unveiled on April 20 in New York City.


Even Apple’s doting (although sometimes sassy) digital personal assistant, Siri is showing her fandom for the show.

Siri game of thrones

Season 5 DVD Release

Previously, HBO unleashed dragons in major cities across the United States to create hype for the release of the season 5 DVD box set. While there weren’t any real dragons (sadly), these immense installations made it look as if a dragon had crashed down with visual skid and claw marks with displaced street lamps and trash cans. The experience ended with a special outdoor screening of a twenty-minute film and an appearance by one of the show’s stars. Share worthy moment indeed.

With all these teasers and activations, we can not wait for the first episode on Sunday. We will you be watching to see how HBO’s experiential marketing strategy will come to life.

Interested in Experiential Marketing?

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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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Elephant in the plains

Why World Wildlife Fund’s “#LastSelfie” Worked

WWF Last Selfie Campaign

From front facing smart phone cameras to selfie sticks, the selfie is a phenomenon now a cultural staple, and is constantly evolving into new trends since this campaign was launched. Unlike the Selfie, many animal species are not so lucky. Enter the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one the preeminent conservation non-profits. Using the mobile social media platform Snapchat, the WWF reminded us of this sobering fact.

The World Wildlife Fund’s brand awareness campaign was centered around Snapchat, a mobile social media platform that allows users to send each other pictures and videos that disappear after ten seconds. The WWF realized that this fleeting functionality could allow them to highlight that time is also quickly running out for many endangered species. This was one of the first introductions to the Snapchat filters, and the way WWF used the social platform was both relevant and impactful to its core message for the campaign.

The activation of the campaign came as followers of The World Wildlife Fund’s Snapchat account received pictures of an endangered animal overlaid with a caption such as “Don’t let this be my #LastSelfie” or “Better take a screenshot this could be my #LastSelfie.” Accompanying these images was information that told the followers where they could go to help.

As a result, there were posts by 40,000 Twitter users that were seen by 120 million users which represents 50% of all users on the platform at the time. The WWF met its monthly donation target in just 3 days.

See the Youtube video here.

The Pineapple Juice:

  1. Many companies, including Snapchat themselves, have tried and struggled to monetize and mobilize their users. This campaign expertly wove together the theme of disappearing by choosing a social media vehicle that is known for doing just that, and now you can see countless brands using snapchat filters.
  2. The WWF had a maximum of 10 seconds to clearly display three important points: what their problem is, why you should care and how to take action. With such a small window of opportunity, the WWF clearly hit a home run.
  3. The WWF understood the value of Snapchat as a medium for reaching and engaging millennials. The Selfie and by association, Snapchat, promotes vanity and self-obsession but the WWF showed us how to flip this paradigm on its head and use the platform to affect amazing positive changes.

Ready to learn more about the Pineapple Juice?

Let’s chat.

Group hiking in the mountains

Best Experiential Activations of 2015

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.

Panda Express Food Truck

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.

Gotham Zip Line
FOX FANFARE AT SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON © 2014: The GOTHAM Interactive Fun Zone at Bayfront Park in San Diego on Thursday, July 24. CR: Alan Hess/FOX © 2014 FOX BROADCASTING

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.


Plan your next activation!

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