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.…


Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?

The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies