SunTrust's LightStream plants pop-up forest in Times Square
- SunTrust Bank's online lending division LightStream will install a miniature pop-up forest in New York City's Times Square for an out-of-home push on Oct. 18, according to a press release.
- The lender has planted a tree for every loan it's issued since launching in 2013, and the "Forest of Dreams" activation will symbolize the 1,000 acres of trees it's so far planted across the U.S. as part of that project. LightStream will plant a tree for the first 10,000 people who participate in the experience, with a portion of donations going to hurricane-ravaged cities like Houston and Miami.
- Visitors can walk through the pop-up forest, opt to have a tree planted or get their photo taken against a forest background to share on social media via the hashtags #lightstreamforests and #forestofdreams for a chance to be featured on a Times Square digital billboard.
LightStream's urban forest fits into a trend in OOH advertising this year where more traditional efforts like pop-ups are bolstered by a strong digital tie-in — in this case, social media touchpoints to encourage sharing and generate buzz online. The location of the bank's activation will inevitably see a lot of foot traffic, as Times Square is a bustling area of the city that attracts thousands of tourists a day, and might attract visitors in being dedicated to an environmentally-conscious cause. The pop-up forest itself will certainly be eye-catching contrasted against its concrete jungle surroundings and the signature giant digital billboards that light up the neighborhood.
The hope for LightStream here is to grow awareness with both city slickers and tourists who are craving a bit of nature, encouraging them to share photos and videos via the hashtags in order to put the lender and its tree-planting cause top of mind.
Other notable OOH campaigns in NYC this year have included a Brooklyn building that Delta repainted several times with eye-catching art; a dishwasher-themed water park from LG for August's Citi Summer Streets program and an experiential pop-up from Perrier in Soho that catered to social media sharing. In August, Behr Paint also built an experiential house in Grand Central Terminal including a virtual reality experience to promote its first "color of the year."