Four Times Pop-Up Shops Nailed It with Novelty

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Four Times Pop-Up Shops Nailed It with Novelty

If you’re not including novelty in your pop-up shops, you should be. Experiential novelty, or the concept of having an experience you have not had before, is a powerful thing. How many parents have been driven absolutely mad by the child who received the “must have” gift at Christmas, only to discard it a few days later? That was novelty at work… that is, until the novelty wore off. As adults, we do the same thing. We adore our new phones and apps to the point we cannot put them down. That is, until we do. Research has consistently shown that novelty has a way of grabbing our attention and changing our behaviours like nothing else can. This is precisely why marketers love using buzzwords like “new” and “improved” as well.

Novelty can improve memory recall too. Pause for just a moment and think of any commercial you wish. Have one in mind? Why do you remember that one? Chances are, it’s because it was totally different than anything else you’ve seen. It may have even been able to evoke an emotion that other commercials did not. Again, this is the power of novelty. Naturally, novelty must be backed up with reinforcement messages, lest we become like the children at Christmas with a bin of forgotten toys. These can come in the form of offering a stellar product or service, staying in contact with your customers, and other means, but novelty is your gateway.

Of course, delivering a novel experience is easier said than done. We’ve gathered up four examples of pop-up shops that went above-and-beyond whilst providing unique experiences to serve as inspiration for your next venture.

1) Game of Thrones Bar Pop-Up Shops

A handful of Game of Thrones bars emerged earlier this year. “We love the idea that a space can attract so many different people to come together and collectively enjoy and connect with the environment that we’ve created,” said Raquel Hung, an artist who worked on the Chicago installation. “With this pop up in particular, we were really trying to transform the space so people will feel like they’ve stumbled upon a fantastical world where they can escape the cold, hang out with a life size dragon, and grab a couple drinks.”

Visitors were transported to Westeros and were treated to a drink in a keepsake Goblet, which was free with the entry ticket. Though a small token, the goblet no doubt played into the marketing of the event, evoking nostalgia and serving as a reminder of the event long after the pop-up shops had closed. There were bartenders dressed in costume, fitting décor, fire-breathing dragons, and yes… a very Instagramable life-size Iron Throne to rule from.

As for the results, you can be the judge. We grabbed stats from Google trends that shows searches for “Game of Thrones” increasing as the themed bars emerged. Although the marketing gurus behind the campaign haven’t published their own results, it’s pretty clear that the pop-up shops had an impact on the show’s pre-season popularity. You can catch a slight lift in interest in the show starting in January, just as buzz about the bars began.


2) Bandersnatch Pop-Up Game Shops

The Netflix series Black Mirror is the King of Novelty, merging Twilight Zone-like episodes with modern day technology and situations. If that isn’t eerie enough, the franchise made a shift into movies earlier this year with the release of “Bandersnatch.” Adding another layer of complexity onto it, Bandersnatch is a choose-your-own-adventure movie. As the movie plays through, you genuinely make choices on behalf of the characters and watch as your decisions come to fruition. There are reportedly more than one-trillion unique versions of the story as a result. How does one improve upon a concept as unique as this? With pop-up shops, of course.

Just after Bandersnatch released, storefronts for “Tucker’s Newsagent & Games” began popping up in places like London, Birmingham, and other major cities throughout England. Fans of the movie will instantly recognize the name of the 80s themed shop as it’s featured in the movie. Although visitors were greeted with a “Be Right Back” sign on the door and could not enter, all sorts of movie and show-related Easter eggs were visible through the windows. There were VHS tapes with references to episodes and vinyl records with selections from the movie soundtrack. Promotional materials for Tuckersoft games were also on hand, including a poster announcing Tuckersoft’s quest for new employees which directed visitors to head to the show’s website. Ordinarily, the show and movie blur the lines of reality by transporting viewers from their homes into the stories, the pop ups brought the horror and suspense of the stories into the real world. Hard to tell which is which now, isn’t it?

3) The “Linked Inn”

If corny puns weren’t enough, LinkedIn nailed it by creating an in-person networking experience for London job seekers in March. “By engaging your network and sharing, posting and connecting with your LinkedIn community, you can get closer to the job you want,” said Darain Faraz, LinkedIn careers expert. “That’s why we’ve set up The Linked Inn – to bring this to life and demonstrate the job-seeking process needn’t be as time-intensive as you might think.”

Anyone who was 18 or older and had a LinkedIn account could enter the pub pop up, get career advice over a drink, apply for job vacancies from major employers, and even have a professional headshot taken. The social network tied it together with an event-specific hashtag to help attendees continue networking after.

4) Fabric of Football

Manchester-based Classic Football Shirts came up with a novel idea to generate interest in their offerings plus support the Bobby Moore Fund and Football Shirt Friday; opening up a temporary exhibition. In all, some 500 football shirts were on display covering the history of the sport and a wide range of teams, ensuring there was something for everyone. The brand capped it off with art, memorabilia from previous world cups, and naturally, an on-site bar.

If you missed the event, you can still catch the shirts. They’ve become part of the collection at the National Football Museum now.

Got a Novel Idea? Launch Your Own Pop-Up Shop

Popertee puts more than 15,000 pop up shops at your fingertips, making it easy to find the best one for your unique needs. Better still, if you’re in London, you can take our Location Recommendation tool for a spin and let our savvy location intelligence software do the work for you by examining the audience around each pop up shop and telling you where you’ll find your customers. Discover your ideal pop-up space now.


Created on date: 07/05/2019