pop-up shop

How Nike Likes to Celebrate Anniversaries

Are anniversaries promotional? We’d like to think so. Nike’s shoe-inspired pop-ups have come a long way. Now, they’re extending into dynamic promotional territory with the brand’s “Sneakeasy” in promotion of its Nike Air Max. Air Max Day is a thing, and it’s been celebrated every year for the past four years. Highlighting the company’s past and present designs, Air Max Day is a much-celebrated event guaranteed to turn heads.

From East Coast to West Coast

In promotion of the Air Max’s 30 years of success, Nike’s Sneakeasy pop-up stand took an always-accessible approach. It traveled from New York City to Chicago, stopping in Toronto and Los Angeles on the way. Select locations featured the VaporMax model—which is one of the company’s newest, coveted, model.

Yeah, the event was based on R.S.V.P. interactions. That said, Nike’s interactive experiences don’t come cheap. Marketing real estate in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Chicago is top-tier, and the brand excelled in highlighting its strategy while throwing a rad party.

All About the Art

The Sneakeasy, while inherently a promotional stand, offered interactive art experiences. Hosting live music performances, curated exhibits and local influencers, the Sneakeasy was a one-stop culture shop for locals and travelers alike. The interactive Air Max display was, of course, the centerpiece. Alongside the Nike Air Max 1 Flyknit, the Nike Air VaporMax made quite an impact.

Nike pulled it off by showcasing its many innovations, remixes and re-releases. According to Matthew Kneller, Nike North America’s communications director, it was the brand’s first-ever stab at a speakeasy-inspired pop-up. Understandably, speakeasies and sports don’t always mix. By commodifying quality products, however, Nike succeeded in giving consumers full product access while retaining the classiness and intimacy of a true-blue speakeasy display.

An Unorthodox Event Space

The Sneakeasy’s event spaces are worth mentioning. At every destination, Nike planted its feet in urban locations to engage consumers. The Toronto Sneakeasy, for example, was established in an unoccupied Chinatown warehouse. While unorthodox, the location still garnered attention. Guests who procured golden tickets from Nike’s much-advertised Air Max Bus were given VIP access. At every location, interiors were inspired by the much-loved Air Mx 90 style. There were upside-down shoe portraits. There were benches. Yes, there were Nike-themed history displays. Nike relied on intelligent modern artists to pull off the look—and it worked.

The first Air Max shoe rolled out in 1987. This brand cornerstone was highlighted by Bryan Espiritu—an artist who created a “Tear down this wall” display in homage to President Ronald Reagan’s Berlin Wall speech. Nike is a brand of culture. Like all cultural displays, its anniversary paired class with a modern edge. It was memorable, serving as modern proof that anniversaries still have great marketing potential. 

Samsung Creates Digital Playground

It's obvious that something is very different the moment you walk into Samsung 837 in Manhattan. From the outside, this location looks much like any other big-city electronics store, and even its "837" name is just a reference to its address. However, once you go in, you can see that it isn't really a store at all. You have just entered the company's "digital playground," where you aren't meant to buy things, but instead, check out all of the latest offerings. In effect, it is a giant, interactive, 3D advertisement. Customers who check out this showroom won't be thinking of advertising as they indulge their desire to play with all of the electronics that are out and waiting for their attention. A giant screen, made up of 96 other screens, grabs that attention like a hook. When there are no events or shows taking place, visitors get to use it to display selfies. What makes these selfies unique is that each image is made up of the selfies of previous visitors, all automatically arranged to produce the picture like a big mosaic.

Visitors also get to experience their social media identities in a way never before seen. After entering account information into an interface, a special room full of screens shows a huge array of posts while a voice reads out hashtag information. This room has a tunnel-like construction, and screens are everywhere – including underfoot. Once the visual display is over, the screens turn into mirrors, bringing the maximum impact to the visitor's experience.

Many other displays are there, and some of the other floors have a different look and feel in order to better simulate the situations in which the products are used. All of these exhibits help immerse the visitor into Samsung's own electronic world and imagine more possibilities for the company's products. All around, staff explain how to use the exhibits, describe products, and keep everyone oriented. Samsung has also made the location's one-on-one customer care center available online. This completes the experience for visitors who decide to get more information later on.

Yet, despite all of this effort, none of the products are for sale at that particular location. Instead, the purpose of Samsung 837 is to let people directly interact with Samsung products, see the many awe-inspiring ways they can be used, and help visitors decide which ones to get after they leave the Electronic Playground.

This is just one example of how a venue can be set up to change a set of displays from mere advertising into full-immersion experiential marketing. For more ideas, and for the perfect venue for your short-term marketing event, just contact us. Our SoHo Studios venue can handle all of the creativity you can put into your show.

The Pop-Up and the Consumer Experience


One of the latest trends in experiential marketing are pop-up shops. But they're not merely a fad. Rather they're one of the most effective ways to promote brands. Here's a few examples of how companies have used pop-up shops to create effective experiential marketing campaigns, as well as the advantages of how these events can help individual businesses.

Why Give it Away, When People Will Pay

When Organic Valley sought to create an event to let consumers know more about their organic half and half cream, the choice to serve coffee seemed obvious, as nothing goes better with half and half than coffee. But while coffee shops across the country give away the half and half, they do charge for the coffee. So they planned a twist, they would charge visitors $2 for the half and half, and give the coffee away for free. While if anyone asked, they'd have gladly given samples of the half and half, no one complained at the $2 charge. Instead, they were too busy enjoying themselves at the two day pop-up cafe in NYC's Nolita neighborhood, which included hosting by food stylist and writer Sweet Paul, and included talks from organic farmer Gerrit van Tol about organic farming and cows.


Pop-up shops aren't so much about turning a profit as they are about creating brand awareness and education. But while giving samples can be great marketing, charging for a product at a pop-up sends the message that not only is your item worth paying for, it links the buying of the item with a fun experience. When you give a sample, you reach a potential customer who may choose to buy your product down the road, but when a person pays for your product at a fun event, you've just gotten a new customer, one who has positive associations with your brand from the point of sale.

Changing Perceptions

Women feeling ashamed of their monthly periods is becoming a thing of the past, and who better to take notice than U by Kotex. Inspired by a NYC college student's blog post, U by Kotex chose to launch their Period Project Campaign with The Period Shop for three days on New York's Fifth Avenue. Selling home goods, accessories and beauty products by female artisans, and of course U by Kotex products, the shop also had a truth booth featuring women talking about their period. The hip shop was the perfect place to reach the target audience of savvy young women, but U by Kotex loved the broad appeal of the shop and its contribution to making everyone comfortable with the topic of a women's period.

For Chobani, the largest seller of Greek yogurt in the United States, expanding their customer base isn't about competing against other brands so much as it is about changing the habits of their customers. Europeans eat a much larger volume of yogurt annually than Americans, and yogurt is a regular part of all three meals, while Americans limit their yogurt consumption to breakfast. By introducing Americans to all the possibilities in creating savory yogurt dishes, Chobani is confident it can expand much further than its already impressive growth. There's really no better way to do that than experiential marketing, which Chobani knows well; in addition to a permanent NYC flagship café, the company hosts events 52 weeks out of the year. Getting people to try yogurt in entirely new ways is the surest way to grow the company, and pop-up shops are an integral part of Chobani's marketing plan.


Getting people to change their perceptions and habits is hard work for any brand, and it's definitely best done using a "show don't tell" model. Allowing consumers to experience these different ways of doing things first-hand in the fun environment of a pop-up shop is the surest way to achieve success.

Capitalizing on Place

Boohoo.com, a major online fashion retailer in the UK, chose to host a two week pop-up shop in Los Angeles' trendy Westwood neighborhood. With a music festival theme and a location close to UCLA which represents its female college student target demographic, the choice of location served two purposes. It helped expand into a new market as Boohoo.com seeks to have a larger presence amongst American buyers, and it did so strategically, as the brand is highly influenced by Southern California style, and felt there was no better place to begin its expansion to the US. What is more, by being in Westwood and using a west coast music festival theme, the brand was able to capitalize on these things for marketing far beyond the pop-up. In using social media and broadcasting the event to their followers, the brand becomes associated with the hip neighborhood and an authentic West Coast vibe.


By strategically using place, brands are able to connect with consumers on the most intimate level, from inside the communities where they live. Additionally, companies can use the associations of a place, whether it be a hip neighborhood or one that will best resonate with their target audience, to create a stronger brand. Our event spaces, at the heart of Miami's Arts District, are the perfect place for hosting any kind of pop-up shop. Give us a call to learn more about how your brand can most benefit from a pop-up shop.