5 Memorable Advertising Activations

This article is part of our September 2018 series about the state of advertising. Click here for more.

Advertising has taken a decidedly experiential turn, as the brains behind the campaigns continue to push the boundaries of creativity to cement emotional bonds between brands and consumers.  

Below we take a look at five innovative advertising activations that we believe push creative boundaries and help each respective brand better connect with their customers.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Takes A Bite Of Your Pizza, Not Your Pocket
To let people know it doesn’t charge any fees for its personal loans, Marcus by Goldman Sachs went to new lengths with its advertising, sending an actor into a pizzeria to pretend he worked there and having him bite into slices of pizza before serving them to patrons. The message? Rival lenders take a big “bite” of consumer’s pockets with fees. Responses are hysterical:

Beautyrest’s “Sleep” Activation
At SXSW this year, Beautyrest recruited 150 festival attendees to sleep on twin beds arranged on a concert stage while listening to composer Max Richter’s eight-hour lullaby, “Sleep.” The video, below, gives you a peek inside the activation:

“This was successful in terms of creating an event that not only stood out in a brand-relevant way, but also went beyond being a one-and-done event via all of the positive earned media from social sharing on Instagram and Snapchat during the experience,” said Michelle Montgomery, VP of marketing communications for Beautyrest at Serta Simmons Bedding, in an earlier interview with CMO.com.

Intel’s Olympic Drone Lightshow
Few will ever forget the Pyeong Chang 2018 Olympics opening ceremony, when Intel’s drone lightshow was broadcasted to 28.3 million viewers around the world. Talk about building brand awareness: The high-tech company flew 1,200 drones simultaneously, breaking its own world record. The drones were programmed to take the shape of a snowboarder, a dove, and then the Olympic rings. Mesmerizing barely skims the surface: 

Sephora Tent At Coachella
As the official beauty sponsor of Coachella this year, Sephora placed a tent right in the middle of all the festival action. The air-conditioned, Wi-Fi-enabled tent contained various stations to get attendees festival-ready. Some of the services offered inside: holographic makeup application, a braid bar, a DIY temporary hair dye station, and a sparkly space ball hair-styling station. Fans loved it. Who doesn’t love freebies?

Spotify Honors David Bowie
Spotify paid tribute to English singer, song writer, and actor David Bowie earlier this year with a huge takeover of New York City’s Broadway-Lafayette subway station, which is in the neighborhood that Bowie lived in for more than 20 years. There was a big Bowie portrait on the staircase, as well as artwork featuring his quotes about his love for Manhattan and custom metro cards with images of him during different stages of his career. The tieback to Spotify was especially cool: Each piece of artwork had a unique Spotify code linking to Bowie’s music, which made this activation more impactful.  

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