Welcome to summer, the official season of large-scale experiential (not to be confused with experimental) activations.
It’s when brands hit street festivals, music venues, baseball stadiums, and those definitely sanitary swim-up bars with custom merch in tow. Or they execute their own immersive (read: crowded), one-of-a-kind experiences. But, um, this year? Not so much.
Brands are pivoting to offer more topical takes on classic events—and doing it much more gracefully than, say, someone mounting a bar stool at a swim-up cantina.
Missing Bloody Marys with your crew? Drink Jägermeister by yourself! The ’meisters held a virtual brunch on Instagram Live with an interactive cocktail-making session and food pairings for Jägermeister Cold Brew. It was a little taste of the Sunday Fundays (and positively miserable Mondays) of yore.
Zaxby’s “Drive-Thru Date Night” hosted couples looking for a break from eating pandemic meals (e.g., Zaxby’s) at home. As they patiently waited in the drive-thru line—and in their respective cars—customers were treated to roses, a violinist, and a caricature artist before a romantic dinner (the Zax Pack for Two). True love lives!
Instead of meeting at a bougie wine bar to discuss whatever New York Times bestseller you pretended to understand, listen to Andy Cohen read short stories on behalf of Stella Artois. They commissioned work from authors repping cities hit hardest by the coronavirus and have an accompanying Instagram Live series examining various aspects of storytelling.
While summer is usually wedding season, Domino’s is helping to celebrate—or at least survive—the lack thereof. Their Rain Check Wedding Registry (a hub of nuptial-themed e-gift cards) offers the perfect way to console the unhappy couple in your life who had to postpone their plans. If they’re lactose-intolerant, try the Busch Beer giveaway.
The takeaway? Translating our universally most-missed experiences just takes a little imagination. Or a lot of Jäger.
Have a still-kind-of-summer-y weekend, everybody!
—Your all-season friends at Brokaw