Popular Mechanics, a longtime favorite among makers and DIYers, is getting a makeover of its own. The Hearst publication is gearing up for its 115th anniversary next year, and to get the word out it sponsored The Lodge, a pop-up event that brought its pages to life for more than 500 attendees with hands-on activations, demos and tastings led by the publication’s editors and partners. The event on Dec. 3 in Brooklyn, NY, also served as a way to reach potential new advertisers.
“We’ve been modernizing the brand, but you can only do so much through media channels, and giving people the opportunity to literally experience the brand and everything that it is about and embodies today, was really the point,” says Cameron Connors, publisher and chief revenue officer at Popular Mechanics. “The Lodge also gave us a huge opportunity to approach other partners that may not have given us a look before and helps propel the brand going forward.”
Billed as The Ultimate Winter Weekend Clubhouse, The Lodge took place at Kinfolk 94, an event and retail space located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, where the warm, earthy tones enhanced the event’s rustic holiday theme and provided a backdrop for showcasing the magazine’s advertising partners. For social sharing, guests had animated GIFs taken against a winter outdoor landscape. The brand also shared the demos and activations on Facebook Live and other platforms.
Among the engagements: Popular Mechanics’ West Coast editor Timothy Dahl demoed how to create firewood coasters using Dremel hand tools. Dana Glaser, from Slightly Alabama, a line of Brooklyn-made leather accessories, had guests lacing up and making custom leather wallets. Chain stitch expert Brian Brinkley from Knickerbocker MFG customized bandanas and totes with a retro look. Neo-folk musician Jeff Conley performed using a ukulele made from a YETI water bottle and other instruments created from found objects.
A pennant wall by Oxford Pennant, beer tastings led by Blue Moon’s brewmaster and co-founder, pour-overs by Birch Coffee Roasters, pizzas from outdoor pizza oven maker Camp Chef, charcuterie and a lesson in making beef tartar by Cannibal Beer & Butcher, a mini shop by retailer Kit & Ace and more rounded out the experience. Agency: In-house.