5 smart pop-up experiential campaigns

The last few years have seen a rapid influx in the number of pop-up stores and experiences as marketers seek to package up the essence of their brand into everything from shipping crates to cardboard boxes. However, with pop-ups becoming increasingly ubiquitous the race is now on to utilise these fleeting appearances in bolder and more considered ways.

The real value in the pop-up promotion is in building brand awareness by disturbing the traditional flow of people's daily routines. It's all about juxtaposition, bringing a little taster of somewhere else, a moment of escapism or disruption. However, the mistake often made here is in setting up a Narnian wardrobe experience only to then fill it full of clothes as opposed to an engaging brand journey. Sampling and sales are naturally important, but not at the expense of a deeper, more engaging and entertaining story.

Putting your pop-up in a shipping container, somewhat ironically, requires you to think outside the box.

Here FRUKT takes a look at 5 smart pop-up activations…

Ikea – Metro pop up

Kicking off our list is a simple yet affective guerrilla-marketing stunt from everyone’s favourite Swedish furniture chain, Ikea. The flat packed furniture retailer took its traditional in-store room setting displays and put them in a decidedly not so traditional location, setting up a pop up apartment in the Paris underground.

Not only that but in order to further promote the notion that even the tiniest of spaces can be made both beautiful and more habitable through convenient uses of storage, the brand had five people live in the 581 square feet of underground apartment for five days.

It’s a smart use of location, guaranteeing plenty of press coverage whilst also showcasing a vast catalogue of Ikea product – amplifying the underground billboard concept into something far more tangible and interactive.

Reebok - Pop up Gym


Struggling to keep up you New Year Gym resolution, even though its only mere weeks into 2012? Maybe Reebok can help as they bring the gym directly to you courtesy of a pop-up experiential activity surrounding their latest global brand strategy.

A new focus on fitness will see the brand creating gyms within innocuous shipping crates and distributing them across a variety of key locations worldwide, including London Bridge and the Empire State building.

The interesting angle here is how Reebok is focusing its fitness agenda on social sharing, emphasising the community, competition and camaraderie of sport (as opposed to the usual competiveness focus) through this experiential activation which touches down in the UK in March.

Naver - App Square

Naver, the South Korean search engine, developed a highly tactile take on the packaged pop up, creating a walk through experience (designed to emulate an opened cardboard box) in order to bring its app search platform to the streets.

The temporary kiosk housed a series of stations inside dedicated to some of the brand’s most popular search terms, bringing them to life and highlighting the fact that search is no longer a static, deskbound function. For example, the music search area was fitted with giant cardboard speakers enabling visitors to discover new music and listen to it from within the structure.

It’s a smart promotion that turns the fairly mundane process of search into a shared experience, bringing it to life in a highly personable way.

Evian - Alpine Experience

The bottled water brand packaged up an evocative slice of the Alpine lifestyle into a custom built shipping crate for Londoners to sample as part of latest pop up promotion. The bright pink ski lodge experience saw the brand inviting participants to sign up for a 45-minute sensory experience on London’s South Bank, complete with log fire, blasts of mountain air and cocktails and canapés (including liquid nitrogen nibbles).

What is particularly notable with this pop up is how it is integrated into social media, giving fans of the brand creative control. Fans get to sign up for the Alpine excursion via the brand’s Facebook page and also get to choose what activities take place inside, what scenery is on display and choose surprise guests.

Corona Extra – Summer in Winter

Corona brought a splash of summer to the winter months in December in London, offering a respite from the pre-Xmas shopping chaos by delivering an out of season pop up experience.

The Corona ‘Extra Summer’ pop-up beer garden was housed inside a specially heated dome (similar in style to Cornwall’s Eden Project), giving passers by the opportunity to fast forward to next summer and sample Corona in a tropical setting complete with DJs and palm trees.

Again the key here is in using pop-ups as a way of transporting participants not only to new places, but also through time from one season to the next.

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