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How Marketers Are Using Instagrammable Events to Attract Young Consumers

How event marketing is being geared toward creating the perfect Instagram moment…

Nine out of ten 13-33-year-olds say they would rather share a picture of an event on social media than new clothing/accessories. This preference is proving lethal for some retailers, but it’s also inspiring a whole new era of marketing.

Our most recent Ypulse Quarterly report (out just this past Friday) includes the trend Experiencification, the in-vogue tactic of turning your brand or product into an experience to be more alluring to young consumers. From creating themed pop-up events to experimenting with immersive retail environments, brands across industries are trying to capitalize on their craving for experiences. At the same time, actual experiences are increasingly being engineered to create an Instagrammable moment. One of the major drivers behind young consumers’ ongoing hunt for new and unique experiences is their desire to share those moments on social media—behaviors that may incur eye rolls from some, but that actually might make them enjoy things more. So these days restaurants are being designed to include Instagrammable scenery, packaging, and dishes; Fashion Week shows are being created to include that one photographable display, and museums are embracing exhibits that look good on the mobile screen and encouraging social sharing.

In this era, brand events and immersions are being created to be a series of photo-op worthy moments—the ultimate Instagrammable experiences. Here are two recent examples of how marketers are engineering events that will inspire young consumers to share a social moment: 

Refinery29’s 29Rooms

For the most recent New York Fashion Week, Instagrammable moments weren’t just found on the runway. Refinery29 hosted 29Rooms—an “Art and Fashion Funhouse” installation in Brooklyn that Adweek reported was “designed to inspire creativity—and Instagram posts. The 29 rooms in question were each sponsored by brands and celebrities, including Michael Kors, Perrier, Ulta Beauty, RuPaul, and Ford. Each display was themed around a different artistic or noble pursuit, but really each was in competition to be the most Instagrammable surrounding of the bunch. Neon signs, positive declarations scrawled on walls, graphically enticing backdrops, and wild scenery like a panda-themed toy pit by Nicola Formichetti were made for visitors to capture on their phones and send out to social followers. According to Refinery29’s co-founder and executive creative director, “We live in an increasingly digital world, so people want to have memorable experiences, but they also want to be able to share them with their digital friends.” She emphasized the importance for the branded spaces being focused on fun over logos. 

The Museum of Ice Cream

If museums are embracing their own Instagrammable moments, why not turn a brand experience into an Instagrammable museum? This summer, a collection of brands did just that with The Museum of Ice Cream, “a lick-able, likable, shareable ice cream-centric experience.” Sponsored by Tinder, Dylan’s Candy Bars and Dove, along with a rotating cast of ice cream providers like Ample Hills, the first-ever iteration of the museum, included “a swimmable rainbow sprinkle pool, edible balloons, an immersive chocolate room and a collaborative massive ice cream sundae.” While none of these taught anything about the history of ice cream by any means, each was immeasurably Instagrammable, and inspired thousands upon thousands to share images of the experience—the sprinkle pool being an especially popular subject. The 30,000 tickets to the immersion sold out, and The Verge called the event “pure, unadulterated Instagram fluff” thanks to the number of social posts it inspired. The experience was such a success it will be held in new locations in the near future. 

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.