Do and thee shall receive


Thoughts Piece

Pop-ups and brand activations are here to stay. Period. Many people ask us about the future of them and question the relevance but you only have to look around you to see their ever-growing presence. Malls, transport hubs, even the old high street has a wealth of brands looking to find new ways to engage an ever curious consumer.

What is changing is the way brands are tackling these experiences; switching from traditional retail approaches to immersive, rewarding experiences.

Brands are now rewarding those that put themselves out there. Those customers who are prepared to trade time for rewards. No matter how sweaty they get.

Take Reebox ‘Pump Battle’ and Reebox ‘Run the Movie’ for example. The first sets a challenge across a tube platform – one side against the other. Whoever hits the most buttons within the timed challenge wins……..a free pair of new Reebox Pumps!

The second happens in the most unlikely of locations. A movie screen. The film pauses and shows a streaming icon. A spotlight then circulates the audience and stops at random on one person. A treadmill is then revealed suggesting that you better get running to restart the film!

Why are Reebox doing these type of activations? Well both of them are in Korea where obesity is a big issue and 74% of workers admit to a lack of exercise. The brand weaves in to society, encouraging exercise in a fun way and rewarding those for making an effort.

By now, everyone has seen Northface’s version of this type of reward. If not, watch it! You’re massively behind the times and it is most excellent!

Gatorade have gone a step further in the ‘sweat for reward’ race. Their new vending machine will only dispense an ice cold drink for those that deserve it. A ‘sweat pad’ reads your palm to see how sweaty you are and then decides whether you deserve it or not. IF not, it’ll suggest you work harder and sweat some more!

Our own Story Shop for World Vision rewards customers for exactly this type ‘doing’, all be it a little less sweat is required. By reaching out and touching the magic mirror, customers are taken on a journey that is hard to replicate without travelling thousands of miles. After the emotional rollercoaster told by a young girl called Hope, customers are set a challenge: “Choose one of my friends and then find them in draw number 44”. An analogue treasure hunt prevails through 80 drawers to learn more about that child. The reward? Saving a child’s life.

The Story Shop – Connecting Two Worlds from The Yard Creative on Vimeo.

We often talk to our clients about the value that customers place on Status Stories – stories earned through brand experiences – and how the theatre of retail relies on such activations. It’s these desires from customers that are spawning the likes of the above activations and is exactly why brands are challenging customers further in reward for their time.