Ambient Marketing

At The Pineapple Agency, we love any kind of marketing or advertising that pushes the boundaries of the normal, and demolishes the mundane. Lately, we’ve been watching a relatively new and modern form of advertising known as “Ambient Marketing“.

Research has shown that the average person sees between 300-700 marketing messages per day. How many of these messages do you ignore? Have you ever seen an ad that really caught your attention? If so, what about that ad made you stop and take a second look?

What is Ambient Marketing?

Ambient marketing uses the ambient environment as a launching point for creativity and novelty, and spices up any mundane setting with an experiential twist. Though similar to guerilla marketing, ambient marketing is more subtle, and contextually tailors a marketing message or advertisement to its surroundings. All you need to pull off ambient marketing is the right context and a great idea, which will be unusual by default, but also creatively linked with the brand. Ambient Marketing, much like other forms of experiential, has the added benefit of being highly viral. When people catch something subtly out of place, humorous, and unique, they’ll want to tell everyone.

Here are a few of our favorite examples of ambient marketing:

Pepsi Max

Pepsi Max recently deployed a very useful and unique ambient marketing idea targeting music festival audiences, called “The Friend Finder”. The idea was to solve a very simple and common problem among festival goers: losing your friends in the crowd. To do so, Pepsi created an army of friend-finding drones that use GPS and a special app to reunite lost festival goers that were separated from their pack. What did Pepsi get out of it? Some subtle, yet effective brand impressions, and a pretty awesome viral video.

Urban Barn

Canadian retail furniture chain Urban Barn took a stab at Ikea, the big fish in the retail furniture industry, with this incredibly clever and humorous ambient marketing campaign, which they set up on the streets right in front of their stores.

Urban Barn no assembly required ambient marketing


The 3M group brand that makes sponges showcased their cleaning skills with a giant sponge hanging from this very clean building.

Hanging a sign from a building for ambient marketing

The beauty of ambient marketing is that with the right idea, you don’t have to break the bank.

If you’re curious about ambient marketing, guerilla marketing, or experiential marketing of any kind, we’re here to answer your questions.

Let’s chat.

Branding in NYC

Using Current Events to Boost Your Experiential

If you have an internet connection and are reading this blog, chances are you’ve probably heard about this tweet from Oreo that was posted during the 34-minute blackout at the Super Bowl a couple years back. The post was retweeted over 10,000 times in one hour, and ended up earning a much larger payoff than Oreo’s actual Super Bowl TV ad, which cost them millions of dollars. Design work, copy, approval, and posting of this tweet all took place in a matter of minutes.

Social media is all about social commentary, and it rewards brands that are fast, witty, and up-to-speed on current events. Since experiential marketing benefits so much from social media, it’s obvious why many experiential campaigns are built to go viral on social media. Adding some clever social commentary to your experiential marketing (or building your entire campaign around it) is one of the best ways to do so, and can create some amazing results on social media and beyond, supercharging your campaign’s impressions.

A perfect example of using current events in an experiential marketing campaign is actually taking place – you guessed it – right now. Piggy-backing on Apple’s expected announcement of the iPhone 6S at it’s highly anticipated September press event tomorrow, digital agency “6S Marketing” has done something unique, clever, and frankly… silly. They’ve been publicly asking Apple to call the new phone the “iPhone 7” instead. The agency bought billboard space in times square, made a hashtag and website, and even parked a truck out in front of the Apple store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan protesting the change.

Camping out in front of the Apple store.
Camping out in front of the Apple store.

At first glance, this seems like a lost cause. Why on earth would one of the largest companies in the world even consider changing the name of their product just to appease a marketing agency? But that’s the beauty – they won’t. Instead, while everyone is searching for “iPhone 6S”, and all eyes are on Apple, 6S Marketing is soaking up just a little of the (albeit very large) limelight. With how well they’ve capitalized on the hype from the rumor mill building up to the announcement of the newest iPhone, we’re looking forward to seeing what they do in the aftermath when Apple predictably calls it the “6S”.

Ready to boost your experiential marketing?

Let’s chat.

Graphic representing how an activation goes viral

How Does Something Go Viral?

How Does Something Go Viral?

One of the many questions we get asked by our clients is: how do we get our campaign to go viral?

There have been many books, papers, and blog posts written about how does something go viral and others fall flat (in fact there’s even a mathematical function about it). To be honest, there’s no surefire guarantee that your content will go viral. However, there is one thing that can give you the best possible chance: killer content. If you truly want something to go viral, then the content must be interactive, exciting, relatable, and engaging. This may seem pretty easy to do, especially if you have a sexy product like an energy drink or the latest digital accessory, but what if your product or service is not-so-sexy?

That’s the beauty of Experiential Marketing

It can make any product or service leave a lasting impression, because that’s what an experience does, by definition. At the Pineapple Agency, we love to create immersive, unique experiences and activations that create an emotional connection between brand and consumer. Our killer content is the aggregate of videos, pictures, and social engagement that has been captured from our unique activations. This content can be repurposed to create commercials, digital/print advertisements, or full-fledged traditional marketing campaigns utilizing multiple marketing distribution channels. In order to have the best chance of going viral, the content should be:

  • Engaging (visuals, audio, etc.)
  • Able to attract consumers on as many channels as possible
  • Easily shareable
  • Personalized and/or relatable on an emotional level
  • Meaningful, and helps your audience become more educated and/or helps them solve a problem


Just because your content satisfies these requirements doesn’t necessarily mean that your content will automatically go viral and hit millions of people, but they will give it the best chance to be shared by your most sought after prospects. Even if your content does not reach virality this time around, you are still creating content that your audience desires, as well as continuing to establish your company as a credible authority in your field. Regardless, you want to be educating your prospects so they are more equipped to buy your product/service and want to share your company with as many people as possible.

One of our projects that went viral within the Colorado area was Terminal Kings: a public art project commissioned by Denver International Airport (DIA). Over a ten day period 10,000 people packed Denver’s City Hall event center to watch graffiti artists David Cho, Highraff, and Sam Flores paint three of the largest hand-painted murals that would be displayed in the airport. During what was the most highly attended non-permanent art exhibit in Colorado for that year, The Terminal Kings social platforms saw staggering increases in the number of followers and almost every major news outlet in Colorado picked up on the project, thus creating additional viral buzz for the Denver International Airport, which was already infamous for the large, creepy, and potentially haunted Mustang sculpture displayed along Peña Boulevard. The project was turned into several pieces of content and eventually served as the backbone for the overall marketing campaign for DIA’s Terminal Kings public art project. To find out more about the Terminal Kings project, please see our case study on the project here.

Considering an experiential activation for your company?

Let’s chat.