The Brief: Vampire Ballerinas and Iconic Sleepovers


This week’s hot takes on hot topics in experiential marketing cover vampire ballerinas, rent-free micro-apartments and Airbnb Icons.



If you’ve ever looked up New York City rent prices (and lived to tell the tale), you know that with those kinds of price tags, every square inch of apartment space counts. It’s a fact not lost on Skittles, which is luring Gen Z and promoting the launch of its Skittle Littles product with a contest that yields the winner a vibrant, rent-free micro-apartment for a full year.

To show young renters how to maximize the functionality of a mini dwelling without compromising on style, the brand hired interior decorator and Gen Zer Dani Klarić to transform a 353-square-foot residence at Carmel Place, Manhattan’s first micro-unit apartment building, into an explosion of rainbow colors and funky décor—with plenty of Skittles Littles branding, of course.

U.S. fans over the age of 18 can enter for their chance to live in the Skittles Littles Living apartment until May 21 at the campaign microsite. Irritating landlord not included.

SKITTLES_Littles_Living_LivingRoom_micro apt 2024

SKITTLES_Littles_Living_Kitchen_micro apt 2024


Universal Pictures_Abigail_Influencer Dinner_2024_actressThe TikTok “Girl Dinner” trend got flipped on its head during a launch event for Universal Pictures’ latest horror flick, “Abigail,” about the kidnapping of a vampire ballerina. At the estate in Pasadena, CA, where the “Batman” TV series was filmed, more than 150 creators arrived to enjoy a curated dinner without knowing that they were supposed to be part of the meal.

In small groups of eight to 10, attendees entered the branded mansion with the assignment of babysitting the blood-thirsty Abigail for a single night (and keeping themselves alive). To make it happen, participants went on a multifloor journey through gory scenes, like “dead” bodies wrapped in chains or piled on the floor.

There were even appearances by other disturbing characters during the event, like Pennywise and Michael Myers, as well as the option to take a photo inside a rusted cage on the front lawn. And then there was the finale moment: Abigail dancing on the roof with a decapitated corpse. The morbid activation appears to have paid off with a social reach of 433.3 million. (Agency: IHEARTCOMIX)

Photo credit: Getty Images; YASI/Jasmine Safaeian


iStock data graph report trendsA new trend report from American Express Global Business Travel Meetings & Events’ Experience Studio has revealed five of the top event marketing trends for 2024, with technology and content delivery clocking in as top priorities. The survey of more than 300 marketing and communications leaders found some compelling industry stats:

  • If overall meetings budgets increased by 10% in 2024, 20% of respondents said they’d use their funds to improve content delivery and increase their use of technology, including AI
  • 59% of respondents said they expect to use mobile apps in their 2024 meetings and events; 47% said they expect to use QR codes; 35% expect to use on-site check-in tools and 34% expect to use AI
  • Social media is the top channel for 39% of marketers to reach their target audience with event promotions
  • Creativity is the No. 1 value marketers prioritize when evaluating event partners
  • 78% of companies expect to have corporate sustainability goals by the end of 2024

Check out the report for more stats and insights here.


Airbnb has made some pretty incredible properties available for rent over the years (lookin’ at you, Barbie’s Malibu Dream House). Now, those once-in-a-lifetime stays are available under the new “Airbnb Icons” rental category. Feel like spending the night at the Ferrari Museum? No problem. Want to drift off in the house from “Up?” The floating property (hoisted by a crane) will be up for grabs this summer. And here’s the kicker: The experiences are hosted by some of the biggest names in music, film, television, art and sports.

01 - The Ferrari Museum - Icons - Airbnb - Credit Thomas Prior

The program debuted with 11 Airbnb Icons, and more “extraordinary experiences” will be dropped around the world throughout the year. Here’s a taste of what’s rolling out first:

  • A stay in the iconic clock room at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, which has been transformed into a luxurious bedroom. From the terrace, renters can witness the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games along the River Seine.
  • A living room performance by Doja Cat, including her favorite songs and tracks from her latest album.
  • A chance to go on tour with reggaeton star Feid for a week, and join the crew for rehearsals, ride along on the tour bus and get backstage access for every show.
  • A journey through the world of “core memories” at the “Inside Out 2” Headquarters, where the host, Joy, will try to keep emotions in balance.
  • A stay in a 2D animated recreation of the X-Mansion from Marvel’s “X-Men” where renters can discover their mutant abilities and even train in the Danger Room.

Photo credit: Heather Sten; Holly Andres; Kelsey McClellan; Ryan Lowry; Thomas Prior; Federico Ciamei


Getting whisked away to the pink sands of Bermuda sounds heavenly right about now, and for a few hours on May 2, consumers had a shot to do just that. To showcase the convenience of its new 90-minute flight from New York’s JFK Airport to Bermuda, JetBlue teamed up with the Bermuda Tourism Authority on a one-day stunt in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.

The centerpiece of the activation was an oversized hourglass filled with pink sand. Nearby, consumers could scan a QR code and answer one trivia question about Bermuda correctly for a chance to win one of five complimentary packages that included two roundtrip tickets to the destination, as well as hotel accommodations. When the last grain of sand fell in the hourglass, a winner was announced, and a new question (with a new chance to win) was generated every 90 minutes.

Beyond the sweepstakes, JetBlue set up beach lounge chairs for photo ops, played the sounds of crashing waves and invited consumers to participate in an AR experience that transported them to Bermuda’s pristine beaches. Don’t mind if we do. (Agency: TH Experiential)

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Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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