McDonalds celebrated St Patty’s day & the return of their iconic Shamrock Shake with an equally iconic stunt. Dubbed the “Shambow” (short for shamrock rainbow), the green arch lit up Daley Plaza in Chicago for one night only. What you can’t tell from the pictures is that this installation was actually made using water vapor, fog, & projection mapping-genius! Lucky passersby may not have found a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, but they did stumble upon free Shamrock Shakes.
Irish we were in Chicago for this one!
No one so much as batted an eye when a knockoff bottega popped up seemingly overnight on the corner of Canal Street -an area notoriously linked with the counterfeit goods market. Covered in signs labeled “sale” & “buy 2, get 1 free” and fully stocked with what appeared to be fake Diesel apparel, the boutique blended into the neighborhood seamlessly. Little did passersby know, this storefront actually housed one of the most exclusive designer collections of NYFW.
To create buzz around their “Go With the Flaw” campaign, Diesel took fashion marketing to the next level with a genius, out of the box stunt. They brought the world's first “authentic” knockoff store to life even going as far as misspelling their name“Deisel”. After announcing that the store was in fact filled with an authentic limited edition Diesel collection, a huge line began to form. Everyone wanted to get their hands on the now highly coveted one of a kind pieces. The exclusivity of the collection alone attracted a whole new audience for Diesel. This younger market represents a new generation of shoppers who thrive on the hunt. They live for the thrill of seeking out & purchasing unique pieces that will make them stand out. This bold concept also made a big statement against the counterfeit business & for the first time Diesel used knockoffs to bring their fashion brand up instead of down- a true feat!
Buzz was the goal but Diesel accomplished a whole lot more than that. If they weren’t on your “brands to watch” list before, they should be now. They certainly earned a spot on ours. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
The Federal Trade Commission's recent regulations & requirements around brand sponsored content has shed negative light on influencer marketing. Consumers are now more in tune with the truth- influencers are not as reliable as they once believed. While this may sound like bad news for social marketers, it is not. “The Influencer Marketing Industry is worth well over a billion dollars, 75% of marketers are using it, & the market is projected to grow for years to come”(Forbes). The industry is still booming-Marketers just need to pivot & experiment with new approaches to make it feel more authentic.
First, brands should forget about the biggest names and instead focus their attention on micro-influencers with a proven record of loyalty. When influencers are personally invested in the product or brand it shows & the content is that much more convincing. Even more important however is providing influencers with irresistible content they actually want to share.
In comes experiential marketing! It’s an incredibly powerful engagement tool offering marketers the unique opportunity to introduce both consumers & influencers to products in a physical, unforgettable way. Influencers actually become a part of the story instead of just promoting it & brand experiences produce an abundance of incredible content made to be shared across social platforms. Together, this kind of partnership produces powerful results. Experiential Marketing provides the content & influencers provide the funnel that pushes the boundaries of reach outside the walls of the experience.
In other words Influencer marketing + Experiential marketing = Guaranteed ROI. Let’s get to work!
As attention spans get shorter & shorter, the power of experiential marketing becomes stronger. Storytelling is an influential technique brands can use to take an experience to the next level. It’s valuable to view your brand as a living narrative that can be brought to life through consumer interactions. Make them a part of the action, a part of your adventure to create a lasting impact. Consumers will spend money on brands they understand & believe in. Storytelling is a wonderful tool to convey your brand identity to the world. Use it to take your consumers on an unforgettable emotional journey through your core values.
Move aside "Greenery", Pantone has announced it's 2018 color of the year & it's a show stopper. Known to communicate originality, ingenuity, & visionary-thinking, Ultra Violet promises to light the way for an inventive & imaginative new year. From home goods to beauty, brands across all industries are hopping on the bandwagon. Shop the trend here!
1. INFLUENCER EVENTS
With the pressure mounting to deliver ROI on events, the integration of influencers has quickly gained traction. Designing share-worthy experiences for influencers has become a major tool brands use to connect with consumers & deliver measurable results. We see this picking up in 2018 with even more events & activations focused on capturing the perfect “genuine” moments to share across platforms.
2. MUSEUM STYLE INSTALLATIONS
From Museum of Ice Cream to 29Rooms, museum style installations have taken experiential marketing by storm this year. Their success can be attributed to the playful and creative way they tap into selfie culture and amplify it ten-fold. We predict they will become bigger, better, and more multi-sensory in the year to come.
3. ESCAPE ROOMS
There’s no denying that escape rooms had a big moment this year- take HBO: The Experience for instance. While we feel the concept may have run its course, we are excited to continue finding new ways to gameify experiential activations.
Tiffany & Co is without a doubt one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Even so, they are not exempt from the universal fear of cultural irrelevance. Like all brands they need to find ways to continually relate to the modern consumer & keep up with the trends driving engagement. Their latest attention-grabbing initiative was the opening of The Blue Box Cafe which also marks their first shift into the restaurant industry. Hued in their iconic striking blue color, the cafe became a social phenomenon overnight for it’s instagrammable decor & tie in with the classic movie synonymous with the brand. Fans can now for the first time ever have Breakfast at Tiffany’s-IRL. Book your reservation here!
Although the incorporation of cuisine into design elements and event experiences is not new (think donut walls), food has been having a resurgence in brand marketing. From pop-up restaurants to museums, gastronomy has become the main course. The latest example of this comes from LA’s Otium restaurant, offering selections that are inspired by (and pair perfectly with) the Yayoi Kusama exhibit next door at the Broad Museum. Bon appetit!
Popular ride-sharing app Uber recently decked out the iconic Bengies drive-in theatre in Maryland, turning it into a hip pop-up hangout spot for drivers. Complete with murals, movies, carnival games and treats, this branded stunt was part of their 180 Days of Change campaign. The experience was designed to focus on the flexibility that the brand provides its drivers, and is also a peace offering as the company works on improving their brand reputation.
Snapchat’s latest foray into the world of augmented reality is a collaboration with iconic American artist Jeff Koons. Users in nine global cities can track the location of a particular work then switch on the app to experience the digital installation in full scale, complete with shadows and reflections. This move, alongside a series of branded expansions into AR lenses, might be a sign that AR technology is gaining momentum in experiential marketing.
Airlines have been struggling with bad press in recent times, but a newcomer seems set on turning that around. Air France’s latest offering Joon is a young and vibrant addition to the skies. Under the tagline “also an airline,” the brand offers an entire experience made up of a suite of services--car-care, organic food served by attendants in casual, stylish uniforms, entertainment “in tune with the times”, and insider tips on how to live like a local at each destination. Bon voyage!
Refinery29 occupies a very special place during New York Fashion week with 29Rooms. Featuring photo worthy moments around every bend, the interactive funhouse is a millennial's social playground. Brands who partake have the opportunity to connect with a younger, often hard to grasp market on a personal level through interactive branded experiences. This year’s theme “turn it into art” challenged key players such as Dunkin’ Donuts & Clarins to get creative with their immersive room concepts & inspired unexpected surprises like musical punching bags, carousels, and giant typewriters. This experiment in storytelling allows brands to take part in larger narratives while engaging with visitors on a more intimate level--all while simultaneously boosting social impressions. Next stop, Los Angeles!
Foodies rejoice! Eataly World, the epicurean answer to Disneyland, is slated to open on November 15. Located in Bologna, Italy, the 20-acre complex is an multisensory tribute to Italian cuisine. Visitors will receive a complete field to fork experience, from biking past picturesque pastures full of cows to grinding wheat and shaping it by hand into pasta. Six rides, dozens of food stalls and over 40 workshops complete the Eataly World experience. This culinary twist on experiential marketing is also a brilliant act of cultural diplomacy.
A crowd of zombies made their mark on the English capital in a living undead billboard to promote two live-action attractions at a nearby theme park inspired by and in partnership with AMC’s The Walking Dead. Not content to simply chow down on brains and guts (and throw their leftovers at passersby), the zombies eventually took to the streets carrying sandwich boards and other promotional materials. This marketing stunt is a clever way to engage spectators, and also taps into a recent experiential marketing trend focusing on pain and fear.
Pop-up shops have become a common sight, but advanced materials company 37.5 Technology has taken the concept to new heights with their latest stunt. Placed 330 feet up a mountain in Eldorado Canyon, Colorado, the Cliffside Shop offered free gear to climbers—on the condition that they were picked up in person. In another twist, all funds raised were dedicated to improving local climbing routes and drawing attention to the issue of public land preservation. Consider the bar raised.
The streaming giant has a new pop-up dispensary in West Hollywood, offering selections that pair well with your viewing habits. Three of the twelve strains promote Netflix’s new stoner comedy Disjointed, although fan favorites like Orange is the New Black and Arrested Development also have curated pairings. The creative concept and clever names such as Poussey Riot and Banana Stand Kush are an interesting and surprising experiential push into the budding world of branded marijuana marketing. Tune in, light up, chill out.
A few days after his mysterious disappearance from Clash of Clans, fans may finally have some answers about the Builder’s location. He has jumped out of virtual reality & into Brooklyn and has brought with him a very unique gift. Staying true to character, he has “built” Brooklynites a statue made from recycled materials that doubles as a charging station for city-goers. The seamless way the narrative has been transformed from the digital world to real life could open up new doors for other gaming brands hoping to explore the world of experiential marketing.
‘Grammers are going wild for The Color Factory, a new pop-up museum in San Francisco. The candy-coated exhibit includes 15 interactive experiences — each tied to a color — that engage all five senses. This multihued wonderland runs through September but tickets are in very short supply. Ready, selfie, go.
With Art Basel 2017 just around the corner, we decided to take a look at our favorite art collabs from last year. Standouts such as Audemars Piguet’s “Reconstruction of the Universe” and the #RitzRainbow were successful largely because they understood the Art Basel landscape. In order to tap into the crème de la crème of the arts & design crowd that Art Basel attracts, art must come first & the brand second. Let’s get creative!
Lyft is showing their drivers and the city of LA some major love! The popular ride-sharing app is offering all of their drivers $1 washes in a funky car wash redecorated in their signature hue, with the proceeds going to a regional food bank. This unconventional thank-you to their drivers + recent Taco Bell collaboration are sure to win Angeleno hearts and brand loyalty.
One of the standout brand activations at this year’s Comic-Con was HBO’s Westworld: The Experience. They opted away from the technology & the all-too-common VR route and instead chose to wow consumers by integrating an old-school technique: relying on talented actors to interact with the crowd. The result was an incredibly effective activation; fans were able to really feel like they were in the television show. Full immersion is key and HBO has proved that technology is not the only option. The reaction of crowds and critics to this activation may hint at the beginning of a tech burnout, encouraging other brands to get on board with HBO’s tactile immersion strategy.
Yangzhou Zhongshuge library in China, is a book lover’s paradise. Glass arches line the interior, emphasizing the connection between perusers and the books themselves. The use of black mirrors in the floor creates the illusion of an infinite reading space & also ties back to the city’s many waterways where writers & artists gathered in the past. The strategic incorporation of materials adds a futuristic feel to the venue while simultaneously honoring the past.
Get ready ‘Grammers! The next stop on Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibition is the Broad Museum in Los Angeles, CA. Six Infinity Rooms will be available to view from October 2017 until January 2018. The special display of installations will feature the pumpkins, polka dots, & lights that the Japanese artist is famed for. #infinitekusama is infinitely cool.
NASA’s new space fabric promises a positive impact on both the textile industry & space science alike. Their new “4D” printing process results in a double-sided material with dual functions; one side absorbs heat and light while the other reflects it. This is only the first prototype & more experiments with the process are sure to come. This new production method could open up new opportunities for both producers & designers; stay tuned!
Pablo Escobar's home has found new life as an art-filled boutique hotel. Previously owned by the notorious drug lord, the Tulum estate was recently transformed into a five-star stay right on the coast. The space boasts a rotating selection of sculptures and paintings by world renowned artists, a monochromatic bar reminiscent of Keith Haring, and a steam room that lights up James Turrell-style. Casa Malca proves that there are no limits on creativity when it comes to venue selection; anything is possible.
Takashi Murakami just designed 3 Facebook messenger frames in celebration of his latest exhibit. By giving consumers a fun interactive social feature, he is simultaneously creating attraction around his latest project & building relationships through Facebook's immense network. Custom frames, lenses, and filters on Snapchat & Facebook give brands the opportunity to engage their consumer in a less direct way than traditional marketing tactics.
Social media is forever evolving & it looks like the next stop is TV. Facebook and Twitter are pushing for original TV worthy programming which will offer new ad spaces for brands to reach their consumers. Snapchat has already taken the plunge by signing a $100 million dollar partnership deal with Time Warner earlier this week.
James is an LA based graffiti artist whom we had the pleasure to work with at the Atomic Blonde Presented by IGN E3 Afterparty. We commissioned her to design the photo booth backdrop, customize the furniture pieces, and live paint a graffiti wall at the event. Universal co-hosted & their edgy new movie, Atomic Blonde, was a perfect match for James's bold and colorful design approach. Check out her work!
HOW DID YOU BECOME A GRAFFITI ARTIST?
I've been an artist for as far back as I can remember, creating large scale canvases and watercolors but I really first began doing large scale street art around 6 years ago. I was really inspired by my friend Dirt Cobain who encouraged me to get out there and do it on the streets. I did, and it turned out really well and after that point it became super addicting. Since that time 6 years ago I haven't stopped and thankfully my artwork has been well received and has grown beyond my wildest dreams.
WHAT OFTEN INSPIRES YOUR WORK?
The thing that most often inspires my work is my cat (@fuzzbuzzthecat). When I look at her I just imagine this elaborate cotton candy dream world with underlying evil taking place inside all of her fuzzy fur.
PROUDEST IGN MOMENT?
For the IGN party, the project I'm most proud of is the photo booth wall because I was in love with the neon colors and bold geometric design that I used. It was really challenging and fun to create. I had a blast.
My favorite recent project is a giant mural on Melrose & Ogden. I love the use of shape and feeling there.
CREATIVE PROCESS FOR IGN?
To begin with, I was absolutely in love with the entire premise of the movie. It's about a beautiful badass blonde spy who is dispatched to Berlin to take down a ruthless espionage ring that has just killed an undercover agent for reasons unknown. The fact that I loved it made it easy. I began my creative process by imagining myself as her. I began plotting ideas of what her world would look like through her eyes. After that, my vision of what I wanted to create for the furniture artwork, photo booth backdrop, and live painting gained clarity.
WHAT ARTISTS INFLUENCE YOUR WORK MOST?
I'm really inspired by the work of Danin Jacquay (@deathcats). The colour palette she uses in her work as well as her beautiful, twisted and exaggerated depiction of everyday life speaks to me. Another really inspirational group of artists that I've always admired is the Maricón Collective, A Queer Chicano/Latino DJ and artist collective whose aim is to bring people together through art and celebration. Their artwork and dedication to the community is really influential. Lastly, Hellen Jo (@helllllenjjjjjo). She’s a really rad comic artist who's been around for quite some time. Her line work and subject matter are really awe inspiring. A lot of her work depicts current political issues, in particular women’s rights. I believe her ability to use her work to raise awareness of these issues has profound influence on myself and a lot of other female artists out there.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ASPECTS OF LIVE PAINTING?
The best aspect of live painting is being able to have your audience take a journey with you through the creative process and different stages of completing a mural. However, my personal favorite aspect is being able to interact with the audience.
WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE?
IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE & WHY?
Anthony Bourdaine because he would know all the good spots to get drinks and food and because he’s rad.
*To see more images from the event, email Krogers@penandpublic!
What do Apple, IKEA, & Chanel all have in common? They all agree that space travel is an indisputable trend of 2017. Apple’s new headquarters & IKEA’s latest furniture line are both being designed with space travel in mind. Looks like Chanel was ahead of the game with their Fall 2017 runway show back in March.
Photobooths have truly evolved over the years, and we are finding that guests are craving authentic ‘grammable moments with an ‘IRL’ vibe. Start looking forward to fewer standard photo booths and more share-worthy, organic photo installations. Delta's Dating Wall is a perfect example.
Attention readers, New York City based ice cream shop Tipsy Scoop has just introduced alcohol infused ice cream to the foodie world. This could be a game changer as the summer event season has just begun, and these are very ‘grammable treats. Frose All Day & Cake Batter Vodka are the fan favorites in our office.
Head's up, Pantone, Millennial Pink seems to be the real color of the year. From Pale Dogwood to Candy Pink, from beige to peach, this color embraces a range of shades. This (non)color has a strong personality and millennials are embracing it for everything including hair color, event decor and red carpet gowns.
Ditch your old school floral bouquets in favor of something experimental. We've got our eye on the unconventional floral inspirations by flower artists AMKK. Their flower filled jars and minimalistic creations add a perfect layer of sophistication for an environmental design.
In order to truly wow your consumers, appeal to their sense of smell. It has been proven time & time again that smell is actually the strongest of all 5 human senses, evoking powerful nostalgia and associations. Consider adding a carefully curated aroma to your next brand experience. Scents create memories & a multisensory experience is one attendees will not soon forget.
Hosted by Event Marketer Magazine, The EX Awards are the world’s largest recognition program for experiential marketing. We are proud to announce that this year, we took Chicago by storm and brought home not one, but two awards. We won first place in Best Press Event for our GoPro Hero5 Launch & our KLM Pop-Up Experience won us the Silver Certificate in the Pop-Up category. Needless to say, we are very much looking forward to another year of awesome collaborations with incredible companies; Cheers!