5 Social Media Movements That Can Inspire Experiential Marketing Activation Ideas

Brittany Chaffee

20 August 2019


Social media is an interesting neighborhood. But, one thing we know for sure is that people are speaking honestly through its platforms. They discuss what they like and dislike, what they’re doing all day, or how they’re having a hard time. It’s a truth serum for human interaction. Which is the underlying reason content “goes viral.” That’s why brands should be borrowing concepts setting fire in the social space to best understand how successful their experiential marketing campaign could (and should) be.

And you're in luck! We’ve put together five social movements that can inspire the experiential marketing space. Dig in below:

A tiny bookstore is traveling around the country selling books.

Takeaway: Consider the dreamy-emotional triggers with small, impactful spaces.

Jojo and Jordan from the Bachelorette turn shipping containers into beautiful homes

Unlock Hidden Potential in Neglected Things: Refurbishing unwanted objects has become a gallant trend in the social space. Consider JoJo and Jordan from The Bachelorette. Their new show, Cash Pad, follows the process of refurbished dilapidated shipping containers and rusted out backyard bungalows after turning them into gorgeous Airbnb’s. Why is this appealing? The progress story of making something unhandy and ugly into useful and beautiful is America’s entertainment sweetheart.

Takeaway: Showcase the process behind transformation.

Taking your cat to a cat cafe is becoming a normalized thing to do.

Consider the Cat Cafe: Social media is a gravitational pull for puppy and kitten videos. And as of late, Cat Café experiences have caught fire on social media. (Writer’s Note: We know, it sounds ridiculous!) But, the social-sphere wants what it wants. So why not bring that into your space in a way that works for your brand? It doesn’t have to be cats exactly – simply understand that cuteness wins. Let us not forget how popular goat yoga turned out to be.

Takeaway: Go outside of the box.

Stranger Things and Baskin Robins partner to recreate a Scoops Ahoy pop up shop based on the hit show.

Pretend with Pop Culture Pop-ups: Pop culture phenoms love its interactive pop-ups. Think: Gilmore Girl’s Luke’s coffee shop pop-up, Stranger Things Scoops Ahoy pop-up at Baskin Robbins, Friend’s Central Perk pop-up. All of these spots are exclusive and high-demand. They don’t go on forever, so customers flock to the spaces with the urge to document on social media. Distilleries and breweries have also benefitted from this pop-up culture. Lawless Distillery in Minneapolis opens a new theme every season to attract guests. Last year, they created a Christmas Pop Up Distillery with personalized cocktails and unique glassware/décor. Lines filtered out the door and no one wanted to miss a moment.

Takeaway: Nostalgia wins.

The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest events in the State and the country and it is a great place for your brand to show up on social media.

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair.

Take a Hint from State Fair: The Minnesota State Fair blows up local social media here in Minnesota, so why not take a note or two? The fair is hundreds of experiential moments all packaged into one, so where are the moments that stand out? New foods, new beers, and free stuff always draws a crowd. The newest beer or nitro coffee release typically has a line down the street and taps out at noon.

Takeaway: Exclusivity and new products reign supreme.

The main theme with all of these ideas? They were memorable experiences that people wanted to document. People want to experience them first hand – they simply were too good to enjoy from a digital standpoint only. And so, flocks of humans came to experience them! All over social media. When experiential marketing interactions like these are created, success will follow.

Brittany Chaffee


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