To usher in the holidays with custom content, consumer engagement and shareable moments, pop-culture media brand PopSugar teamed up with Old Navy on a giveaway event on Dec. 9 dubbed “Deck the Hauls” at St. Ann’s Warehouse in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn, NY. The brands decked out the industrial space (which had a sweet view of the Brooklyn Bridge) in bright colors, Instagrammable moments and a “jingle belt” conveyor belt serving up must-have gift items selected by the two brands.
The event served as a “physical expression” of Old Navy’s holiday campaign #holiYAY, according to Anna Plaks, svp-brand innovation and development at PopSugar. “The main idea was to put the playful spirit of gift-giving back into holiday shopping, which we know can be stressful,” Plaks says.
The experience, which targeted millennial women ages 18 to 34, began with a VIP hour from 11 a.m. to noon featuring special guests and influencers invited by the two brands. There were brunch bites, like yogurt and fruit parfaits and mini egg sandwiches, and a hot chocolate bar, in addition to the main feature, the “jingle belt.” Designed with Santa’s workshop in mind, the attraction allowed guests to build a gift box for someone on their list with must-have items selected from displays behind it. For every box made, one box was donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner.
From noon to 4 p.m., consumers, invited via PopSugar’s p.r. efforts and online community outreach, built boxes for friends and loved ones. Afterward, they made their way to a customization station offering 3D card-making to personalize and add creative touches to the gifts. In a lounge area, they could browse and make purchases on iPads displaying Old Navy’s website. There were design-driven moments, too, like oversized gift boxes to climb onto and a neon sign wall, both of which encouraged organic photo-taking and social sharing. A GIF photo op in the back featured a custom ribbon backdrop for an interactive photo op—think: jumping in the air, twirling in the ribbon and family holiday poses.
The event served as a live extension of a program between the two brands for custom content and posts hosted on PopSugar’s site. Extra TV served as a broadcast partner and covered the event, interviewing PopSugar executive style director Dana Avidan Cohn about holiday gifting.
“The ‘jingle belt’ idea came out of the fact that we at PopSugar recognize the busy-ness of the holiday season and how hard it is for women to juggle all of the obligations (albeit fun ones) layered onto already full lives,” Plaks says, adding, “Old Navy was the perfect partner with their great price point and playful approach to fashion.” Agency: The Visionary Group, Los Angeles.