Coach Airways, Malaysia
Luxury fashion brand Coach has a pop-up with a difference at the Freeport A’Famosa Outlet mall in Malacca, Malaysia. This unique store and café combination is housed inside a 1981 Boeing 747-230B airplane, which has been specially reconfigured for this purpose.
In fact, it took two years for Freeport – who own the aircraft – to bring the pop-up to life from acquisition to opening.
The immersive experience begins before shoppers enter the space via an entry pass designed to look like a plane ticket. Onboard they can explore a curated range of Coach products, including a special Coach Airways collection, lounge area, gallery, and café.
While Coach may have been the first brand to take flight in this unique pop-up space, it’s likely the Boeing will be a long-term pop-up venue for Freeport.
Netflix Bites, US
This pop-up restaurant in Los Angeles moves Netflix’s food programming into the real world. Lucky visitors can enjoy a special tasting menu from the chefs behind the steaming giant’s biggest food shows, which displays their individual specialties.
This screen-to-table concept is a great example of digital translating to physical with consumers able to actually try the things they’re seeing on screen. It also acts as a promotional vehicle for Netflix’s programming and an additional source of revenue outside of subscriptions to its service.
In addition, an online store allows food fans to buy a range of exclusive Netflix Bites merchandise.
Häagen-Dazs Flavours of Love, UK
This summer, ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs launched its new collaborative flavours with French pastry chef Pierre Hermé viaa love themed London pop-up.
Exclusively for lucky online winners, the secret pop-up restaurant was only accessible through a freezer door and offered adessert tasting menu based on the new ice cream flavours. Alongside the food, Häagen-Dazs encourage dconversation and connection via a questionnaire that prompted guests to talk about things like their favourite songs.
For those who weren’t lucky enough to win tickets, Häagen-Dazs also created an online ‘Love Map’ that highlighted the most romantic places in London – tub of ice cream optional.
To celebrate the launch of its new packaging design for 7-UP Zero Sugar, 7-UP brought its ‘Coolbox’ to four locations across the UK this summer.
Looking exactly like a giant green cool box, visitors could enjoy a drink in the rooftop bar where every design detail evoked 7-UP Zero Sugar from giant ice cube seating to huge drink cans astables.
The pop-up acted as a space for consumers to come together and enjoy the product, become familiar with the new visual identity, and access interactive content and recipe ideas. On brand t-shirts and visors were also available.
Swedish home furnishings brand IKEA’s giant blue FRAKTA bag is an instantly recognisable icon – and piece of branding.
That explains why IKEA decided to create a 19-foot-tall sculpture of the blue bag earlier this year. The Big Blue Bagde buted in Chicago before embarking on a tour that included Houston and NewYork.
It wasn’t just a visual branding exercise.Customers could scan the QR code on the sculpture’s price tag to unlock an AR experience which made it look like iconic IKEA products were flying out of the bag. They also received a 10% off voucher valid on in-store spends of $150+,which was a nice way of encouraging customers to visit IKEA’s physical spaces.
Kettle Chips, UK
Earlier this year, crisps brand Kettle Chips decided to unveil its newest flavours in a unique way.
Customers were invited to take part in a free pop-up escape room, solving puzzles and uncovering clues to work out what the two new seasonings were. And, of course, try them before they reached store shelves.
The escape room challenge lasted about an hour and was for teams of up to six people. Fans who didn’t manage to book tickets were able to walk-in and still try the new flavours without the full experience.
It’s a great example of how experiential retail can translate to pop-ups with visitors immersing themselves in the brand in avery different way.
Barbie x Selfridges, UK
We could write an entire post about the brand promotion around the recent Barbie movie, but one of the best pop-ups came via the iconic Selfridges department store.
Its regularly rotating Corner Shop space had a Barbie makeover turning it into a pink paradise, including a pink Corvette for photos. Alongside an array of curated shoppable items and official merchandise, visitors could have their own Barbie make-over via hair, nail, and make-upservices.
The Barbie Corner Shop also featured a Dream Wardrobe rental service offering a curated array of looks inspired by different Barbie careers and some of the doll’s most iconic outfits over the years.
Outside, the department store’s windows featured original costumes from the movie and the on-site cinema played the new Barbie film on repeat.
Mytheresa x The Flamingo Estate, US
Luxury e-commerce platform Mytheresa chose an unusual concept for its recent Summer Body Shop pop-up - an auto body shop in East Hampton.
Run in partnership with Flamingo Estate, a lifestyle brand that uses its own ingredients to create its products, the Summer Body Shop offered a range of different fashion and lifestyle products,which changed regularly.
With body shops typically associated with dirt and grease, there was a real juxtaposition in creating a luxury fashion version of such a space. The design used automotive parts to create fixtures and fittings, such as shelves made from tyres, oil barrel displays, and car muffler railings. It also drew from Mytheresa’s and Flamingo Estate’s brand colours of yellow and green.
As a digital brand, this physical space gives Mytheresa a different way to engage customers. This includes the ‘InconvenienceStore’ which features exclusive new joint merchandise from Mytheresa and Flamingo Estate.
Chanel Lucky Chance Diner, US
To mark the launch of its new Chance perfume, luxury fashion company Chanel turned an iconic Brooklyn diner into an on-brandtwo-day pop-up.
Taking inspiration from the perfume bottle’s colours, the diner was decked out in pastel green and pink and retro style signage, including the temporary name of Lucky Chance Diner.
Visitors could discover the new scent at the countertop or in a booth, before moving into the back for a photo op with a giant perfume bottle. In the exterior garden, games and snacks added to the experience and, of course, customers could buy a bottle of Chance perfume from a pick-up window.
The pop-up may have been the last hurrah for the diner with reports that the site will be turned into a new apartment building.
Anya Hindmarch Ice Cream Project, UK
Returning for its second year in 2023 due to popular demand, Anya Hindmarch’s recent ice cream store pop-up is a fantastic example of unusual brand expression.
Located in one of the five stores making up Anya Hindmarch’s London ‘Village’, the Ice Cream Project sold luxury ice cream flavours based on well-known brands. These included Kellogg’s cereals, McVitie’sDigestives, and Warbutons’ crumpets, as well as more unusual tastes like Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Birds-Eye peas, and Branston pickle.
Each ice cream tub featured on-brand packaging that was instantly recognisable to consumers. With the ice cream flavours carefully developed to taste good as well as evoke the brands inspiring them, they offered a unique way for consumers to engage further with the brands they love.
By Jack Stratten, Head of Trends at retail trends agency Insider Trends