12 Inspiring Brand Activation Ideas
You know what experiential marketing like pop-ups, brand activations, and immersive experiences can do for your brand — now get inspired with these 12 brand activation ideas from Promobile Marketing.
Hold Blind Taste Tests
The brand: Meati
The activation: Meat alternative brand Meati wanted to know what potential customers thought about their product — so they turned to Promobile to create an alternative to the traditional focus group. The solution? A brand activation featuring blind taste tests with hundreds of consumers. Participants tasted Meati, real chicken, and competitor products, then answered questions about the experience. Meati collected tons of honest feedback, influencing future product decisions. The brand also scored an advertising win: the mushroom-based meat alternative beat out even real chicken — solid evidence of its great taste and texture.
Make a Spectacle
The brand: Trojan
The activation: When Trojan, the world’s most trusted name in protection, wanted to promote its products at WorldPride by addressing the elephant in the room — penis diversity — they turned to Promobile to help break the tension. Often, the best way to tackle a sensitive subject is head-on, so instead of coyly passing out condoms, Trojan took a direct approach, creating the colorful, outrageous Trojan Conecocktails Ice Cream Truck. Add drag queens and free ice cream in a variety of shapes, colors, and flavors, and you’ve got an un-ignorable brand activation. A whole lot of attention — some 1.1B impressions and 41,000 engagements.
Go Big with Oversized Props
The brand: Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
The activation: When Hellmann’s Mayonnaise wanted to promote both its flagship product and its ongoing campaign against food waste, they looked to Promobile to launch an eye-catching mobile activation. Together they created Mayo for Meals, co-sponsored with Feeding America. The centerpiece of the campaign was a giant mayonnaise jar bearing the iconic Hellmann’s label, driven cross-country in a glass-walled truck. The giant mayo jar was featured in a Super Bowl ad and traveled from Phoenix, Arizona, through Missouri, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, ending its journey at Unilever headquarters in New Jersey. For every mile the jar traveled and every photo posted to Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok with the hashtag #MayoForMeals, Hellmann’s donated meals to its long-standing partner, Feeding America.
Create an Immersive Experience
The brand: Axe
The activation: Grooming products brand Axe wanted its brand activation to redefine masculinity for high school kids, to help usher in a new era of kids who embrace who they are and smell great doing it. Promobile helped Axe customize a bus into the Axe ChillMobile, an immersive, hyper-cool experience that included video gaming, a styling area, lounge areas, and Instagram-ready photo ops. The result: Over 500,000 impressions and some 400,000 samples were given away to a quarter-million high schoolers.
Educate and Communicate
The brand: The Economist
The activation: The venerable Economist newsmagazine wanted to attract a new generation of readers. The challenge: how to simultaneously capitalize on a 180-year-old reputation for journalistic excellence and demonstrate a commitment to modern concerns? The solution: create a brand activation that revolves around educating the public on food waste and the meat alternatives market. Working with Promobile, The Economist partnered with Sir Kensington, Pretzilla, and Beyond Meat to implement brand activations around branded mobile kitchens, manned six days per week by street teams. The Economist’s award-winning brand activation gained more than 130,000 new subscribers and generated $1.7 million in revenue.
Tell a Story
The brand: Kettle & Fire
The activation: Leading bone broth brand Kettle & Fire took visitors on a pop-up journey through America’s deeply flawed food system to highlight both its products and its pledge to work toward repairing that system. As part of Kettle & Fire’s broader commitment to offering healthy, nutrient-dense products, the brand recently made a commitment to sourcing one million pounds of regenerative beef bones by 2025 — a significant step toward a healthier future as well as an example for other brands in the industry. For a recent brand activation, Kettle & Fire used storytelling as a way to talk to consumers about the complex issues around our food system. Starting with a free sample of bone broth, guests walked through a multi-part journey that concluded with a curated pantry that showcased sustainability-minded brands.
Launch a New Product
The brand: Sir Kensington’s
The activation: Condiment brand Sir Kensington’s has a fanbase loyal to its non-GMO ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, and mayonnaise. That’s a great place to be, but Sir Kensington’s had one problem: many of its loyal fans don’t eat eggs, a core ingredient in mayonnaise. To deepen those already devoted fans’ experience with the brand, Sir Kensington’s developed a vegan mayonnaise, called Fabanaise. To increase awareness about the new product, they needed to put it in customers’ mouths — and that led to an ambitious brand activation idea. Sir Kensington’s partnered with Promobile for an ambitious tour of the American East Coast — two food trucks making 83 stops throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Sir Kensington’s produced custom-designed paper french fry cones, then formed a partnership with gourmet frozen food brand Alexia, which supplied the fries. The campaign scored more than 26.3 million social media impressions and gave away 120,000 samples to land a 105% increase in sales for Fabanaise.
Celebrate a Holiday
The brands: Butterball and Bumble for Friends
The activation Partners Butterball and Bumble for Friends (BFF) began with a simple premise: that no one should be alone during Thanksgiving. Working with Promobile, the two brands created a New York City-based pop-up that offered New Yorkers without holiday plans a place to go. The pop-up space created room to mingle while learning holiday cooking tips from experts and culinary influencers. The result: More than 100 meals served.
The brands: Sunscoop and Supergoop
The activation: Ice cream and sunscreen: both are great year-round, but perfect in the summertime. For a limited-time promotional partnership, Promobile brought together SPF experts Supergoop and up-and-coming ice cream brand Sunscoop for a dual brand activation centered around putting product samples in consumers’ hands. We secured vintage-style ice cream trucks for a perfectly authentic summertime vibe, and created an exterior footprint around each activation, complete with music and custom displays. The mobile brand activation delivered more than 53,000 sunscreen samples and some 16,000 ice cream samples in NYC, the Hamptons, Chicago, and LA. The partners even created a custom ice cream flavor for the occasion.
Meet Your Audience Where They Are
The brand: Dove
The activation: Unilever beauty brand Dove wanted to promote its line of women’s deodorant specifically to young women — Gen Z — as part of the brand’s broader mission to help women feel confident and realize their true potential. Promobile partnered with Dove to identify a smart way of reaching their audience. How? By meeting them where they were already gathered — at music venues and festivals in Los Angeles, New York, and Gulf Shores, Alabama. The result? A massive boost in brand awareness, thanks to more than 65,000 samples distributed in Los Angeles, 75,000-plus handed out in NYC, and some 31,000 deodorant samples placed in hands in Gulf Shores.
Challenge Your Guests
The brand: Klondike
The activation: What would you do for a Klondike bar? Promobile and Klondike asked that question to thousands as part of the WWYD Road Trip, held this summer. Launched on the first day of summer and again on National Ice Cream Day, the tour took a specially designed, Klondike-branded ice cream truck to three U.S. cities — Austin, TX; Pittsburgh, PA; and New York, NY. The truck stopped in high traffic, public areas for maximum attention, and set up a fun, interactive “challenge zone” where guests used props to show their Klondike spirit on social media. Visitors completed group challenges and enjoyed free ice cream. The mobile tour covered more than 4,200 miles and gave away some 7,500 ice creams. Sixteen brand ambassadors and four social media influencers kept the fun rolling in person and online.
Create a Foodie Experience
The brand: Citi
The activation: Citi is the main sponsor of the U.S. Open — one of the tennis world’s most anticipated annual tournaments — so expectations are high for the Citi Taste of Tennis, the brand’s celebration of local culture and cuisine. Citi wanted to create a series of culinary experiences before and during the event, including an ambitious live cooking experience working out of a food truck. The result was an unforgettable foodie experience for tennis fans. Over the course of the event’s three-week tour from Washington, DC to NYC, six celebrity chefs served signature dishes to 3,650 diners and gave away 8,000 samples, plus a whole lot of swag and other giveaways.
Promobile Marketing is a dynamic experiential marketing agency based in New York City. For over a decade, Promobile Marketing has collaborated with a range of brands—from budding startups to major CPG brands—on immersive marketing campaigns. Get in touch to discuss your next project.