We, as an industry, talk a lot about the 'experience generation'. With statistics revealing 72% of millennials plan to increase spending on brands that provide a lasting impression and an opportunity to connect, it's no wonder we're all stepping up our game when it comes to activating in the physical world.
Here are three brands that took memorable experiences to the next level with their latest activations:
1. adidas Glitch Launch
Fast food outlets are the de rigueur vehicle for fashion and sport brands wanting to reach a street-smart, culture-first audience. Just a few weeks ago, Diesel signed a brand partnership deal with a kebab shop in Berlin, taking a swipe at the state of ludicrous collaborations in the fashion industry.
Meanwhile, adidas shut down a chicken shop in Hackney to celebrate the launch of their new Glitch boots last week.
Re-branding the entire shop for a takeaway takeover, every familiar touch-point was taken care of – from staff uniforms, to wet wipes, napkins, bags and menus - making the experience feel like a legitimate takeaway.
The new boots were served out of specially designed chicken box style packaging (fodder for any hypebeast’s Instagram feed).
If that wasn’t enough, the evening was shut down by a performance from Tottenham born rapper Headie One.
Brands need to work hard to capture the attention of the culture-hungry consumer. Activations that not only satisfy our craving for unique and valuable brand experiences IRL, AND fuel content creation for our increasingly plugged-in, digital lives are winning out.
2. Anya Hindmarch's Chubby Cloud
Fashion Week is not known as a place of relaxation, with fashionistas flocking to hundreds of shows a day by the world's best designers.
But one such designer created a space for the fashion pack to relax during the hectic schedules - on the world's largest beanbag.
British accessories creator Anya Hindmarch's series of events on the beanbag – dubbed the Chubby Cloud – aimed to be more soothing than the runway shows, with meditation, readings of the BBC shipping forecast and storytelling from children’s books.
The art installation was held at the palatial Banqueting House in London under Reuben’s ceiling.
Accompanying the sell-out cloud sessions, the designer created a café, selling rainbow doughnuts and cupcakes with cloud-shaped icing, as well as a pop-up store selling limited edition Chubby Cloud merchandise.
Hindmarch had previously announced she would no longer be presenting her collections in line with the traditional London Fashion Week schedule, stating: 'It's the idea of engaging with people not in a traditional format. I wanted to just talk to our customers and make this inclusive. You see how people behave when they sink into the Chubby Cloud — it's quite natural — and I wanted to do something where they could come and be playful. And you're quite porous when you're lying there, so you are open to the art and you're open to listening — and hopefully open to knowing more about us.'
The sell out activation proved that sometimes the only way to cut through the noise is to fall silent – soothingly still and silent.
3. Cheetos Restaurant
We’re heading over to LA for an activation that takes #foodporn to the next level.
There’s no hiding the cult status of Cheetos within the Insta food community. Of all the guilty pleasure snacks, they have one of the most active ‘brandoms’ with thousands of die-hard fans sharing their passion for unconventional Cheetos recipes – including everything from sushi to cupcakes, or ramen to gelato.
After some social listening, and inspired by their fans' overwhelming desire for more Cheetos-filled culinary delicacies, Cheetos turned up the heat and opened ‘The Flamin' Hot Spot’: a limited-time restaurant in Los Angeles dedicated to the beloved flavour of Flamin' Hot Cheetos.
The brand collaborated with renowned Los Angeles chef, Roy Choi, to curate a Flamin' Hot menu inspired by his signature taste and some of his most notable dishes – Hot Cheetos Burrito and an XXTRA Flamin' Hot Rice Bowl, to name just a few.
Each dish delivers the one-of-a-kind Cheetos flavour married with chef Roy Choi's mastery of making spicy food approachable and delicious.
"I have a fun side and a serious side. This is the fun me," said chef Roy Choi. "I've wanted to pair Kogi and Chego items with Flamin' Hot Cheetos for as long as I can remember, and now all of those late nights, road trips and the Cheetos dishes I have imagined can come true. I know the fans have thought about putting Hot Cheetos in a Kogi burrito - well, so have I and here it is and more!"
The pop-up follows the brand’s successful ‘Spotted Cheetah’ activation in New York that racked up a 1,000 person waiting list.
SEEN is compiled by LOVE’s Head of Culture, Kat Towers. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge? Get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org