FIVE THINGS TO KNOW THIS WEEK
This week’s hot takes on hot topics in experiential marketing cover Quitter’s Day, Gen Z situationships and cafés run by banks.
KIND SNACKS WANTS CONSUMERS TO QUIT
About two weeks into January, all of those lofty New Year’s resolutions we made start to feel daunting. The sentiment, it seems, is mutual, as the second Friday in January is an annual “holiday” referred to as Quitter’s Day.
Brands took advantage of the occasion this year to roll out clever campaigns that added their own spin to the concept. Among them was Kind Snacks, which popped up a “Better You by Lana” experience on Quitter’s Day (Jan. 12) in Los Angeles hosted by actress and influencer Lana Condor. The pop-up encouraged consumers to quit food and/or diet resolutions, and cultural messaging, that don’t serve them and offered touchpoints like a “Good Juju” juice bar. The objective? To “empower Americans to trust their taste buds to lead them to whole, recommended foods we’re not eating enough of today.”
Other brands that got in on the Quitter’s Day action included Chipotle, which partnered with fitness platform Strava to develop a “No Quitters Challenge,” and Walmart, which tapped Andy Cohen for a National Quitter’s Day “Save Your Resolutions” campaign.
GET IN LOSER, WE’RE GOING TO THE ‘MEAN GIRLS’ PREMIERE
To celebrate the debut of the musical adaptation of “Mean Girls,” Paramount put on a totally fetch premiere event that dropped attendees right into a scene from the film. The setup included a plush pink carpet with a themed step-and-repeat, as well as a school locker installation, complete with quotes from the new movie, and posters of the lead characters. Regina would be proud. (Agency: 15|40 Productions)
Photo credit: 15|40 Productions
- The Brief: Karaoke Gondolas and AI Experience Centers
- The Brief: Frozen Billboards and Victorian Peep Shows
BRANDS ARE INVESTING IN ‘THIRD SPACES’
Consumers have been seeking out places to spend time that are neither home nor the office, and savvy brands have been catering to the need by investing in “third spaces” that give people a place to hang out, get work done and even participate in wellness experiences. Leading the charge is Capital One, which has a network of nationwide cafés that function as work spaces and are open to customers and non-customers alike, with “café ambassadors” on hand for casual conversations.
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GAMIFIED REALITY SHOW EXPERIENCES ARE HAVING A MOMENT
Gamified fan experiences based on reality show competitions are having their 15 minutes.
First, Netflix hit the scene in December with its Squid Game: The Trials experience in Los Angeles based on its hit series (which was a fictional competition in 2021 that inspired a real-deal competition in 2023). The 70-minute, “viciously high-tech” activation, open through March, features a six-part battle that mimics challenges from the show, and includes new ones built exclusively for the fan experience. There’s also a Korean night market offering savory foods and craft cocktails, an expansive swag shop where fans can buy exclusive merch, detailed photo moments and Easter eggs along the way. Gganbu gang for life. (Agency: Superfly)
Photo credit: Getty Images for Netflix
Then, from Jan. 13-21 in L.A., Peacock touted season two of its reality competition “The Traitors” with The Traitors Experience, a ticketed affair hosted at a private estate that was transformed to replicate the Scottish castle from the series. Like The Trials experience, the activation pitted players against each other in a sequence of games and puzzles. In this case, the challenges were completed in groups—and designed to help participants determine the traitor among their squad. An exclusive sneak peek of the experience was attended by “The Traitors” season two contestants before reservation-only tickets were opened up to the public. (Agencies: JFI Productions, activation; Civic Entertainment Group PR, p.r.)
Photos: Courtesy of Peacock
SWEETHEARTS IS MAKING ‘CONVERSATION’ WITH GEN Z
Sweethearts, known for its iconic conversation hearts, dropped Situationship Boxes just in time for the holiday. The limited-edition releases contain blurry, misprinted candies that are “as hard to read as Gen-Z relationships,” according to the brand. The boxes quickly sold out, but Sweethearts is offering free Valentine’s Day cards for consumers to share with situationships and on social with phrases like “Do you know how much you mean to me? Because I don’t.” We encourage the brand to give the team behind the campaign messaging a very sweet raise.
Photo credit: Spangler Candy Company