The Act of Activating

When you do something experiential, it’s called an activation. Touring around in a food truck is an activation. Surprising people with free coffee is an activation. Transforming 10,000 sq. ft. of office space into a week-long celebration is an activation. Hosting a fundraising event is an activation.

There can also be activations within activations. Like sub-activations, but nobody calls it that.

Activations are best when the barriers to entry are low: It’s easy to know what to do, feedback is immediate and the experience feels personalized.

Guests at Outsiders Ball made value statements by tying lengths of string to a large frame. Each side of the frame posed an open-ended statement like “Every kid should have a chance to….” Guests then tied their string to one of several answers like “sleep under the stars” or “test their courage.” Throughout the event, “String Theory” transformed into a dense web of shared values, reminding attendees why our client’s work is so important.
Brand ambassadors representing Tide and Gain handed out 39,000 detergent samples and Target store drivers on the streets of New York.
Target Canada set up activations outside key stores to celebrate Earth Day and promote their sustainable products and practices.
TCF Bank promoted its convenience message by paying for people’s morning coffee, tanks of gas, lunches and more. In turn, people promoted TCF via social media call-outs.
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