Pop-Ups Look for New Edge in Lean Times


Pop-ups have gained favor as a way of getting value out of vacant real estate while bringing an element of immediacy and surprise to the shopping experience. The concept lends itself to various types of businesses, so it’s no wonder media brands have gotten in on the pop-up action. Their goal: to capitalize on the holiday shopping season in the quest for new sources of revenue while promoting their core brands. But with consumers worried about job security and the economy, pop-ups have to do more than just hawk merchandise to get people to turn their heads. Here’s how some media companies are adopting the concept to hook visitors and, perhaps, new customers.

OpenSky Even e-tailers realize people sometimes want to see products in person. Social shopping site OpenSky, which gives consumers the chance to “shop with the stars,” already had a three-day pop-up that doubled as an art gallery, with products selected by its celebrity “curators” displayed like artwork for added novelty. Cynthia Rowley, Kelly Bensimon, and others showed up at the opening. Gimmicky displays included a floor-to-ceiling sculpture made of woks by celeb chef Ming Tsai and Guy Fieri-branded knives thrown, dart-like, into a wall of pastry mats.

Real SimpleAt its shop, the women’s magazine is selling affordable stocking stuffers from its December gift guide as well as Real Simple-branded books and products. Delivering on its “life made easier” promise, it’s also doling out tips on holiday entertaining, beauty, and gift giving, with food and lifestyle celebs like Mario Batali, Todd English, and Dylan Lauren making appearances.

RS Fest While others go the shopping route, Rolling Stone magazine has chosen to present a pop-up “park” in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Complete with trees and benches, it’s where people can escape the lines, chill to live performances by bands like Dawes and Deer Tick, and check out iconic Rolling Stone covers. Naturally, you’d want a glass of wine to complete the experience, so visitors are offered free rock-inspired wines from Wines That Rock (a Woodstock chardonnay or a Grateful Dead red wine blend, perhaps?).

Wired Store Geekdom meets shopping at the tech magazine’s seventh annual holiday store, being held this year in a 10,000-square-foot Times Square space. Gawk at the iPhone dock made from a hollow tree trunk ($15,580) and Superplexus, a huge spherical maze ($30,000). Overwhelmed? Wired, with social/mobile startup Sonar, will divine the perfect gifts for you to buy simply by analyzing your social networks.

AdWeek: Startups take a page out of the fashion industries playbook

  • December 13, 2011, 4:39 AM EST