Refinery29 converts empty warehouse into a branded funhouse for New York Fashion Week
- Refinery29 is hosting an immersive experiential installation for New York Fashion Week, including a carousel and plastic beauty products several feet tall, according to Adweek. From Sept. 8-11, the interactive space will feature 29 individually-curated rooms linked to specific brands.
- The goal of 29Rooms, sponsored by Ulta Beauty, Aldo, Clarins, Dunkin' Donuts, Juicy Couture and Cadillac with Jason Wu, is to bring digitally-native brands to life and let millennial consumers connect with them offline in new ways, per Adweek. The Clarins room includes plants used in the company's Next Generation Double Serum, for example, and Juicy Couture's featured a faux beach scene. Rooms were also designed by a mix of established and emerging artists.
- The publisher expects 20,000 visitors during its weekend-long installation, which is in its third year. Visitors can also rent Snap Spectacles for free when exploring the Brooklyn warehouse-turned-funhouse, AdWeek reported.
Even as major portions of brands' marketing budgets are directed toward digital efforts, experiential events are a memorable and interactive way to generate buzz and get consumers connected with a brand. Though considered an offline tactic, the majority include some sort of digital tie-in to boost the event's shareabilty and reach far beyond the installation itself.
What's interesting about 29Rooms is the desire for a mainly digital brand to make a more personal connection via offline efforts, an idea that likely drives home the broader concept of omnichannel marketing. It's not just tapping into specific channels, but the underlying goal is to reach consumers in entertaining and memorable ways, as well as inspire creativity and Instagram posts, particularly ahead of product launches. It also creates a valuable opportunity for 29Rooms' sponsors to interact directly with millennial consumers they aim to reach.
Many brands have turned to creative, experiential campaigns in recent months, likely for their high level of interactivity, memorability and social element. Other installations include July's Perrier Flavor Studio, a pop-up store with live music, art, bubble ball pit with a selfie mirror on the ceiling, branded "mocktail" bar and Twitter vending machine.
Refinery29's brand partners for this event appear to strategically cover the publisher's younger target market, a likely reason why the weekend-long installation features a partnership with Snap Spectacles. The publisher has an ongoing relationship with Snap dating back to 2015 when it was added to the roster of Snapchat Discovery publishers, at the time a very exclusive club.