Pop-Ups Are the Marketing Trend of the Moment

These four brands are creating experiences to immerse young consumers in their products, and proving pop-ups are the marketing trend of the moment…

Pop-ups may not be a new concept, but in the age of suffering retail their popularity is only continuing to grow. When we rounded up some of the brands betting on experimental retail, pop-ups were a tactic employed by several in order to test new, non-traditional store concepts. Glossy reports that the pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. But pop-ups have also moved from the playground of retailers and restaurants to a bona fide marketing star—helping brands to feed into the desires of the Experiencification generation.

This summer, Cheetos proved that pop-ups are a marketing trend of the moment with their pop-up restaurant “The Spotted Cheetah,” which put a foodie twist on the snack that stains your fingers orange. Led by Food Network celebrity chef Anne Burrell, the Cheetos-lover haven featured menu items like Cheetos Grilled Cheese, Flamin’ Hot and White Cheddar Mac N’ Cheetos, and Cheetos Sweetos Crusted Cheesecake. Wondering how many people would be interested in sampling these daring treats? Well, the temporary brand presence accumulated a waiting list of over 1,000 people and it only took six hours for all 300 seats to be booked after the restaurant’s announcement—which, according to PepsiCo ’s Frito-Lay division, “was a surprise to [them] in a big way.” Cheetos isn’t the only brand hoping that pop-up experiences will win over young consumers. Here are four more playing the pop-up marketing game—just in time for the holidays:


This season, Nintendo is launching 17 pop-up shops to give fans hands-on time with their products.…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I actively avoid discussions of TV shows.”—Male, 31, MI

Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[Zendaya] is such a beautiful human being and I grew up watching her on the Disney Channel.”—Female, 18, TX

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