Kicking off with original song “American Cowgirl,” bedazzled cowboy hats and plenty of multigenerational family drama, FOX Entertainment’s “Monarch” heralds in a new country music dynasty. To draw viewers into the world of the new scripted series led by Susan Sarandon, who plays matriarch Dottie Cantrell Roman, FOX activated a pop-up shop that brought Austin, Texas, to New York City—cue a big red boot, roping demos on the street and the show’s soundtrack emanating from the space that helped lure in passersby.
Open Sept. 8-11 in SoHo, the pop-up featured stills of the Roman family, gold records hanging on the walls, screens showing the trailer, and monarch butterfly and western-themed décor creating prime selfie spots. The pop-up’s signature photo op was the “Queens of Country” throne in front of a backdrop of guitars. Consumers could also take home a customized “Monarch” trucker hat or bandana.
- Five Emerging Experiential Trends Spotted at San Diego Comic-Con
- Paramount+ Offers up Three Insights on Engaging Pop Culture Fandoms
“Our main objective always with any event that we are mounting is to drive consumer awareness, which ultimately translates to viewership,” says Jill Hudson, svp-publicity at FOX Entertainment. “‘Monarch’ is rooted in country music; there’s glitz and glamour and fashion. We wanted to bring that country feel to a big city, and we thought New York was the perfect place to do it because our date for the premiere of the show [on Sept. 11] aligned perfectly with New York Fashion Week.”
FOX also partnered with several brands to offer items for purchase that were authentic to “Monarch” and its Texas setting: Austin-based Allens Boots; Union Western, a custom country couture company; Fret Zealot, a guitar education system that features step-by-step lessons for songs from “Monarch’s” soundtrack released after each episode; Nyrelle Jewelry’s butterfly-themed Monarch Collection that the characters wear; and Truthteller 1839, a new bourbon brand developed exclusively for the show and based on character Albie Roman, played by country music singer and actor Trace Adkins.
“We worked with our programming team and identified ways that we could monetize the franchise with consumer products that were tied directly to the series,” says Laura Caraccioli, svp, head of strategic creative partnerships for FOX Entertainment. “You could literally walk into the brand and actually taste what ‘Monarch’ tastes like [with the bourbon], so it’s kind of extending that pop-up experience even further.”
Each retailer had its own designated area in the shop, and the FOX team worked hand-in-hand with the brands to design the displays. Fret Zealot’s ceo even made an appearance at the pop-up, playing the guitar and showing consumers how the product worked, according to Caraccioli.
To generate buzz, FOX hosted an advanced press event and leveraged FOX and “Monarch” social media channels for promotions, as well as those of the brand’s partners. Over the course of the four days, thousands of consumers engaged with the pop-up.
“It’s a fantastic turnout, and I think a lot of that is having live entertainment on the street and the interactiveness of experiences inside the pop-up and not just a full-on shopping experience, which was also fantastic in and of itself,” Hudson says. “Our goal is always to create a memorable, shareable event that really helps build fandom and then complements our wider national marketing and publicity efforts.” Agency: Creative Riff.