3 Ways brand activations rules the summer

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Brands are having more and more pop ups these days around major cities like Los Angeles and New York. However, no one wants to feel like they are selling out for these brands even if they are not being paid. How does a brand ensure that they get a return on their investment on a physical pop up? Not only does the brand have real estate costs, but build out and staffing make it a relatively expensive endeavor. For 3 days, costs could run into hundreds of thousands.

1 – Brand backgrounds in selfies

Let’s be honest, the iPhone and the Museum of Ice Cream has exposed what we may have all suspected. We are all narcissists. The Prada pop up in the swanky meat packing district recently released a new fragrance. The bottle is in the shape of the iconic Prada logo and the fragrance is available with or without the bottle (perhaps this is to appease potential ESG fans).

The 30 minute wait landed you a sample, and the ability to take a selfie in front of larger than life plastic bottles. After that, you had to wait in another line to get a shot in front of an infinity mirror with the Prada logo behind that reminiscent of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity rooms. That was it. 

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The selfie is an overexposed trick but it still works. Posts with YOU in it garner more likes and comments than posts without YOU in it. Brands know this, and want to make sure that you are integrated in with their brand. While there are only so many things that can be done with this, Color Factory had the most interesting take on it with mounted cameras to ensure speed, interesting non-selfie angles, and clarity. 

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2 – Experiential

American Express had a pickle ball pop up on the rooftop of Showfields in the trendy Nolita district. Pickle ballers had a chance to sign up to play the game on the roof of Showfields in a fully enclosed court. Spectators could sip on curated drinks or water. Earlier in the day, lobster rolls were passed around and alcoholic popsicles to recreate a summery feel. Of course, while social media shots of one playing pickle ball were necessary and the way that the court was set up there was no way to miss a logo of either American Express (primarily) or Showfields (see left side of court). 

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Experiential has been going on for a long time, but in the age of social media, brands need to make sure that they are front and center. Many brand experiences are great, but in the social media aftermath logos are lost and many forget who footed the bill. 

3 – Giveaways

Samsung utilized the K-pop boy band BTS to team up with in releasing their new foldable phone and tablet. Visitors had to go to every room and earn a stamp, which was given by a Samsung employee that gave information about the products. While there weren’t many opportunities for selfies, the gamification of the prizes ensured that you learned about the products. At the end, the stamps translated into tickets which determined what prize you may have won, some featuring BTS.

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Giveaways are a great way to ensure that the brand stays front and center, but make sure that the swag is something that someone might actually use or wear. Hats, tee-shirts, and tote bags have become so common place that many have a closet full of these things they use when they need a throw away piece. 

After nearly two years of lockdown due to COVID-19, people are itching to leave their homes and brands are ready to welcome them into their experiences. Every weekend in New York City, there are at least a dozen brand experiences, pop ups, and more designed to reach influencers, writers, bloggers, journalists, and key opinion leaders. Have you been enjoying branded pop ups and experiences? Send us your photos and selfies!

3 Ways brand activations rules the summer via @famecastmedia

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