Shipping containers and pods. They’ve evolved from offering an “industrial cool” look to versatile, reusable, customizable and often ADA accessible, experiences. They’re stackable and attach to each other, they fold up in inclement weather. They travel well and can’t be affected by the wind like tents can. And as you’ll see in this pictorial, scores of brands have found uses for them. Here, a look at eight activations.
1. Surprise Inside
On the outside, it looked like a larger than life adidas shoebox. But on the inside of this 16-foot by 30-foot oversized display at the entrance to Lollapalooza was a diner-inspired showroom. Or, shall we say, shoeroom. Authentic diner items such as cake racks displaying adidas MEGA shoes, a black and white checkered floor, a freezer photo activation finished off with a blast of cold air and an employee of the month wall topped off the experience. Build: Craftsmen, St. Charles, MO.
2. B-to-B Roadshow
Before the release of its new Razor with Flexball Technology product, Gillette took a mobile shipping container showroom on the road to educate retailers and buyers about its benefits. The three-month tour hit major retailers and offered a history of the brand, self-shave stations, a visualization of how POS and branding could live within stores and brainstorming sessions with Gillette representatives. Build: Craftsmen, St. Charles, MO.
3. Sampling Showroom
For the launch of its campaign Personalize Your Coke, Coca-Cola took a pod container activation on tour that featured multiple built-in vending machines. From the machines, consumers could type in the message they wanted on their can of coke, and have it dispensed in seconds. Coke leased this pod for use in the program. Build: CGS Premier, New Berlin, WI.
4. Mobile Banking
To test out mobile banking solutions, PNC Bank for seven days activated an all-digital branch built from a steel 20-foot by eight-foot storage pod. Financial consultants walked visitors through the bank’s various services, while iPads demonstrated online and mobile banking solutions. There was also a “smart” ATM built into the container for 24-hour banking. Build: CGS Premier, New Berlin, WI.
5. Car Showcase
Buick has been targeting sporting events and festivals, including South Beach Wine & Food Festival, with a shipping container activation right on the beach. With car displays parked nearby, a branded sand castle, mobile kiosks to collect data and sampling, the whole experience is open-air–making it a nearly 360-degree experience. Curtains offered shelter when necessary. Build: CGS Premier, New Berlin, WI.
6. Video Studio
Spike TV partnered with Dr Pepper to promote its “Lip Sync Battle” show with the Spike Lip Sync Battle Booth. Promoted using hashtag #OneofaKindLipSync, the 20-foot shipping container with a glass façade activated in Times Square, encouraging consumers to enter the contest for the chance to be featured on an upcoming episode. Appearances by Vine and YouTube stars helped build buzz for the event. Build: Boxman Studios, Charlotte, NC.
7. TRIAL Lounge
Utilizing a lightweight 20-foot by eight-foot container, JUUL e-cigarette brand activated a sampling—or vaping—lounge on a month-long tour in New York City. There were four products to sample, a lounge area to relax in, JUUL products placed in an illuminated display and an animated GIF booth. The shipping container gave the open-air experience a sense of structure and permanence. Colorful tension fabrics gave the container’s exterior and unexpected new shape. Build: Boxman Studios, Charlotte, NC.
8. Internal Inspiration
Compass Group, a global foodservice company, serves eight million meals from vending machines at restaurants, corporate cafes, schools and more. For its annual summit, it gathered corporate leadership to discuss company goals and inspire revolutionary dining experiences. Built from three shipping containers, a state of the art, farm-to-table cafeteria incorporated touchpoints such as a kitchen, serving area and a micro garden. Build: Boxman Studios, Charlotte, NC.