As we near the end of 2020 (phew), much of the industry is focused on how brands will make their mark on consumer audiences in the year ahead. The good news is that the pandemic has required event marketers to think outside of their comfort zones over the last nine months, and if the innovative programs they’ve built in its wake are any indication, 2021 will be a banner year. To fuel your inspiration, we rounded up four steal-worthy ideas to keep in mind in the coming months. Here’s a look.
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WHOLLY GUACAMOLE’S COVID-SAFE SAMPLING POP-UP IS ANYTHING BUT THE PITS
With a name like Wholly Guacamole, you know the brand’s activations are going to be a whole lot of fun. Case in point: The Pit Stop, a pop-up sampling stand built to generate brand awareness in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, area, and make a splash on National Guacamole Day (Sept. 16). From inside the pop-up, which served as both a drive-thru and socially distanced walk-up stand, brand ambassadors served up individual pre-packaged guacamole and chips samples, ultimately dishing out 1,500 of them. To boot, consumers could score one of five chances to receive free guacamole for a year by swapping out their under- or over-ripened avocadoes for the brand’s ready-to-eat product. And Wholly cow did the strategy work—the pop-up ultimately raked in 271 million media impressions. (Agencies: Havas Street; Havas Formula)
IN CASE OF APOCALYPSE, OREO’S GOT A DOOMSDAY COOKIE VAULT ‘FOR ALL HUMANKIND’
If an apocalypse strikes, at least the survivors will have snacks. Yep, down the street from Norway’s Svaldbard Global Seed Vault, a safeguard against the extinction of plant life on Earth, Oreo has built its own Global Oreo Vault. The move came in response to an asteroid scheduled to graze Earth on Nov. 2, which had little chance of impacting life on Earth but offered plenty of opportunity for a timely stunt. The (very real) vault contains the Oreo recipe and a stockpile of cookies wrapped in mylar, which can withstand temperatures from negative 80 degrees to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and is impervious to chemical reactions, moisture and air. We have to ask: Got milk? (Source: foodandwine.com)
AMAZON PRIME VIDEO TURNS VIRTUAL ESCAPE ROOM ATTENDEES INTO GHOST HUNTERS
Amazon Prime Video has proven that not all virtual escape rooms are considered equal. To mark the launch of its series “Truth Seekers” about paranormal investigators, the brand activated the Truth Seekers Remote Adventure, a 45-minute escape room experience free to consumers around the world. During the experience, players were immersed in the center of a paranormal investigation. Recruited by the show’s main characters to help restore 6G signal at a museum and recover the artifact causing the disruption, participants were guided by two team members from Amazon’s partner, The Escape Game. The Host was on the video call with players, interacting with them, aiding the flow of the game and offering hints when needed. The Game Guide was actually on location at the museum and outfitted with a camera and a headlamp rigged to a helmet. The guide served as the eyes and ears of the investigation, taking commands from participants to help facilitate solving challenges as paranormal events unfolded. Along the way, players stumbled on Easter eggs from the show in their quest to reach safety and officially join the Truth Seekers team. Hey, the truth is out there.
CHURCH’S CHICKEN ROLLS UP TO FANS’ DOORESTEPS TO DELIVER ITS NEW SAMMY
Church’s Chicken has been serving up fried chicken for over 60 years, but its menu never included a chicken sandwich—until now. To drum up buzz for the item, Church’s took to the streets of Austin in a mobile unit topped with a massive chicken sandwich. The resulting Chicken Sandwich Food Truck experience was delivered over the course of three days. On day one, Church’s combed through social media to find its top brand fans, then rewarded them with deliveries of its new sandwich. During each drop off, the host, a local comedian, entertained the fan, while custom swag and a personalized thank you card were also part of the mix. The deliveries even came in different packaging, from a room service tray to a box within a box within a box. On day two of the activation, Church’s delivered sandwiches to Reggio Emilia Multilingual Pre-School, Central Texas Food Bank and St. David’s Hospital to show its support for the people that serve its community. And on day three, consumers could “tweet the truck” to get a free sandwich delivered to their door. Now that’s a cluckin’ good time. (Agency: T3, a Material Company)