Reverse Activations: How Four Brands Delivered Experiences to Consumers’ Doorsteps – Event Marketer

Reverse Activations: How Four Brands Delivered Experiences to Consumers’ Doorsteps – Event Marketer
Chase Southwest popups_Photo by Rachel Rodgers

Reverse Activations: How Four Brands Delivered Experiences to Consumers’ Doorsteps

You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again: the silver lining of COVID-19 is that is has forced the industry to completely reimagine how brand experiences are delivered. Of late, the circumstances have given rise to a “reverse” activation strategy wherein brands bring experiences to consumers’ homes, rather than asking consumers to come to them. The approach means brands connect with fewer people in person, but the engagement tends to be deeper and more personalized, and in most cases, social media vastly expands the program’s reach. Here, we hope to inspire your 2021 strategies with four steal-worthy activations that flipped it in reverse.

Resy Drive Thru 2020_teaserMore COVID-Safe Programs:

Chase x Southwest

chase southwest Kaila & Erica with scenic backdrop - Photo by Rachel RodgersThe pandemic has forced the cancellation of many milestones in 2020. Among them: weddings and honeymoons. So Chase and Southwest Airlines teamed up with to produce pop-up honeymoon experiences for five essential worker couples whose weddings and honeymoons had been canceled—right in their own backyards. Chase and Southwest took the time to get to know each couple, including their unique love story, and created pop-up experiences that closely mirrored their original honeymoon plans. In the end, the couples enjoyed a taste of Sonoma Valley, sat on the beach and enjoyed a Caribbean oasis, and headed into the great outdoors with a glamping experience, among activations. And every honeymoon needs to be memorialized, so the brands enlisted a professional photographer and videographer to capture each moment. Couples were also surprised with 200,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points via the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card that don’t expire, so they can take their real trip when they’re ready to travel. We just hope they squeezed in some time for a little lovin’. (Agencies: MAS, FleishmanHillard)


The Home Depot x ESPN

Home Depot hostgate 2020With on-site activations and tailgating activities prohibited at most college football games, The Home Depot teamed up with ESPN to adapt its approach to the season while keeping traditions alive. To make it happen, the brand developed pop-up activations around ESPN’s “College GameDay” program in fans’ backyards. Each week, one lucky superfan was chosen to receive pop-up “hostgate” experiences for their team’s game, to be enjoyed with up to 10 friends and family members. The fan and their exclusive tailgate experience were featured on ESPN’s “College GameDay” telecast, which included the appearance of the famous “College GameDay” bus, a visit from the local team’s mascot and, naturally, a backyard feast with burgers cooked on a Traeger grill by a private chef (score!). As the brand stated, “COVID-19 doesn’t mean traditions are canceled. They just need to be reimagined.” True that. (Agency: Octagon)



elf halloween 2020_1Halloween looked different this year and cosmetics brand e.l.f.’s holiday-themed activations proved as much. To boost awareness of its spooky Halloween products, the brand brought the best of its collection straight to influencers’ doors. For three days, e.l.f. hit the road with a pop-up Halloween experience housed inside a custom VW bus. The vehicle showed up at select influencer’s homes and delivered safe trial of makeup products, photo ops with a 12-foot-tall wall of hand-painted pumpkins, a personalized pumpkin patch in their front yard, and plenty of candy to indulge in. By bringing Halloween to their doorsteps, e.l.f. inspired influencers to create content that celebrated the role of makeup and creativity around the holiday—and gave its brand a digital leg up. Beautiful. (Agency: Duncan Channon)



Corona GameDay Container 2020Leveraging the tagline “Your game day beach is back,” Corona is bringing the classic football tailgating experience to fans’ backyards over the course of a 13-week campaign. The brand is surprising sweepstakes winners in Chicago and Columbus with the ultimate gameday experience by delivering a shipping container chock-full of goodies right to their doors. Upon delivery, winners are greeted by the Corona Game Day container, which is retrofitted so that its side wall electronically raises up, revealing all the prizes inside as music blasts, lights flash and celebratory CO2 cannons erupt into the air. Once the prizes are unveiled, fans have the option to have the Corona Beer Moving Crew safely unload and set up the prizes, which include a 70-inch big screen TV, a wireless surround-sound system, a football helmet throne, a personalized sports locker filled with gameday swag, a Corona outdoor grill, a custom Corona Lime football trophy and a handful of other surprises. Talk about a touchdown. (Agency: Cogent World)

Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor. 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 and doting on her fur baby.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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