mikes hard lemonade curated spaces experiential event
February 24th, 2024 | 6 min read
  • Immersive Experiences

Maximizing Experiential Events: Leverage Short-Term Rentals

As investment property owners increasingly look for ways to maximize their holdings’ profitability, short-term rentals offer a unique opportunity for brands to create immersive — if temporary — experiences for their audiences.

With increasing consumer interest in personalized, customized experiences, particularly among Gen Z consumers, immersive experiences created in short-term rentals can be a powerful, memorable way to connect with your target audience. Here are some ways to make short-term rentals part of your immersive experience marketing.

Product Launches and Showcases

Rental properties can make great venues for new product launches and showcases. Home goods brands especially benefit from this approach, because they create an opportunity to show the products in their intended environment, helping consumers visualize the products in their own homes.

One example: Pinterest and Anthropologie created a holiday-themed showhouse in a Brooklyn, NY brownstone. According to an eventmarketer.com article, one bedroom space was inspired by a sharp increase in searches for “winter bedroom aesthetic” on Pinterest; searches for “glam Christmas tree” inspired a particularly extravagant tree. “You walked in that house and you got there, you felt it. You’re like, ‘Oh my God, holiday!’” said one Pinterest exec. “Putting that emotional connection with this kind of experiential moment is the goal.”

pinterest activation

Branded Stays

Customize the rental property to reflect your brand’s aesthetic, values, and product offerings, then offer influencers and/or lucky fans the opportunity to stay there. That’s what beverage brand Mike’s Hard Lemonade did one fall when they ran a months-long experiential activation out of a rented home in the Los Angeles area for the launch of the brand’s latest adult beverage, Mike’s Hard Freeze. A bizbash article describes how designers turned the home into “an Instagrammable paradise—and a space to promote the new product via influencer stays, photo shoots, and industry events, culminating in a public sweepstakes that would allow guests to stay in the house.”

Immersive Experiences

Even for those who didn’t spend the night, the Mike’s Hard Lemonade activation offered a richly immersive experience. The activation was 1990s themed, with every room featuring period-authentic decor and activities. The brand created numerous 90s-styled installations throughout the property, including “hangout spots like a pool lounge, an arcade garage, and a rooftop escape—all matching Freeze’s drink and brand colors of blue, red, pink, and white.” Every corner, surface, and stick of furniture was a social media-worthy homage to the 90s and a constant reminder of the product’s aesthetic and vibe.

To launch its reboot of the TV series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Peacock took over another Los Angeles mansion, converting the home into a mini-Fresh Prince universe. Inside the rental property, according to a bizbash.com article, “guests found an interior residential environment where individual rooms and areas sought to capture characters’ lifestyles” including brand partners tied to the characters. In one area, for example, the main character’s iconic sneakers featured prominently, along with displays of all the Nikes the character wore in the series. Elsewhere, in an immersive augmented-reality experience sponsored by Verizon, “attendees sat on a green screen throne and chose a backdrop based on three show characters (Will, Hilary and Carlton) with different environments” — perfect for social media sharing.

Pop-Up Events

Rental spaces can offer a perfect environment for intimate dinners, workshops that engage customers, and other activities that let visitors experience the brand’s products in real-world applications. In Toronto, IKEA created a pop-up cafe that served the brand’s signature meatballs — famously available in its full-sized stores — and other food items and offered houseware products for visitors to try out. The pop-up, which looked like a classic IKEA store in other respects, took place in a vacant 8,000-square-foot storefront rented for the purpose.

Kylie Jenner offered fans a rare opportunity to try her cosmetics in real life at a two-week pop-up staged in a shopping mall. According to a Shopify blog post, “Customers could use the selfie station and shop the wall of her famous lip kits. About 25,000 people came out to experience Kylie Cosmetics in person, and several products sold out.”

Influencer Collaborations

High-concept events staged at short-term rentals can be facilitated in many respects by collaborating with influencers. They can not only help showcase your brand’s products and services via social media but also help hype the event for maximum impact with their audience — who, if you’ve chosen your influencer well, overlaps heavily with your target audience. One example: for the Pinterest-Anthropologie Holiday Showhouse, influencers brought the hype to not only the event itself but also featured products. A host of top-tier, on-brand content creators and influencers carried Pinterest’s trends and Anthropologie’s products into their own homes, then shared designs with their followers.

Contests, VIP Perks, and Loyalty Rewards

A stay in a branded experience or an exclusive event at a branded location can be used as a reward for loyal customers or contest winners, or be offered as a perk to VIPs (or customers willing to pay VIP prices).

Last year, The Venetian Resort Las Vegas was the site of an immersive experience for fans of Irish rock band U2. The event included an exhibit spanning two floors at The Venetian and explored the band’s past, present, and future. One floor featured an industrial aesthetic, modeled after a ’90s-era Berlin train station, while the other offered a more modern, futuristic environment; both were designed around themes in U2’s music. Fans could tour both floors throughout the event, except for a brief daily window exclusively for fans who bought the VIP package. That package included a two-night hotel stay at The Venetian, plus perks like nightlife access and a special commemorative fan book.

Market Testing and Consumer Feedback

Events and pop-up shops set up in commercial spaces can benefit from the area’s foot traffic by attracting visitors to survey, interview, or market test products. Meat alternative brand Meati took advantage of this opportunity by soliciting feedback from the participants who sampled the brand’s products alongside both real meat and competitors’ products, but the visitors don’t even have to be human to provide useful data: Online subscription box and pet gift store BarkBox created BarkShop Live, a pop-up in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, and invited pet owners to bring their pups to explore the space. Once in the store, each pooch was fitted with a special vest that tracked their movements around the shop; an app collected data on the dogs’ toy preferences, and owners had the option to purchase their pets’ favorites to have shipped to their homes. BarkBox collected data at the event to both inform its product offerings and help the online brand decide if, where, and how to launch physical locations.


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.