Imagine you’re walking down a busy city sidewalk, when suddenly you notice that a previously neglected street corner has transformed into a bright green storefront filled with visitors.
That’s precisely what New York City residents have been experiencing since mid-July, when agencies Wieden+Kennedy and SET partnered up with Sprite to design the Sprite Corner, an eccentric store that promotes music, art and culture with free concerts and workshops.
Here, we take a closer look at why the Sprite Corner has been so successful, and what all brands can learn from it.
Choose an On-Brand Location
From music festivals to in-store events, brands have an infinite amount of options when it comes to choosing a location for brand experiences. After evaluating Sprite’s brand mission, SET creative agency determined that the popup’s objective would be to curate “the intersection of interesting things and people, including hip-hop, film, comedy, art and good food.”
In alignment with this goal, Sprite chose the corner of Spring and Bowery, in the Nolita (North of Little Italy) neighborhood of New York City.
From a deep Italian-American heritage to historic buildings and trendy restaurants, the Nolita area is also bordered by Chinatown, SoHo and the Upper East Side, making it a perfect spot for the intersection of different cultures and ideas.
Obey Your Brand Mission
We all know that brand engagements must stay true to a brand’s mission, but there’s no rule saying you can’t push the boundaries of that mission and think outside the box. The Sprite Corner has hosted a wide range of community events, including a chef class with Eddie Huang and a rap concert by upcoming artist Vince Staples.
Sprite infused new meaning into their classic mantra, obey your thirst by giving fans a chance to truly indulge in their passions, or thirst, for experiences they might not normally get to have. The entire experience also plays off of this tagline by extending an open invitation to those simply walking by on the street. This is an ode to obey your thirst by tempting these pedestrians to indulge in their curiosity and explore the branded street corner.
Create Opportunities for Organic Promotion
Although Sprite has a global social media following, all of the brand’s social outlets have been focused on this single brand activation in New York City.
In addition to creating a Tumblr account solely for the Sprite Corner, Sprite transformed its twitter account into an event feed and uses their Instagram as a visual display of The Corner’s activities.
The soft drink brand strategically chose performers and workshop coordinators as another way to grow social reach. For example, Sprite hosted actor and director F. Gary Gray to come to the Sprite Corner to discuss an anticipated new movie, “Straight Outta Compton.”
Sprite made a wise choice by partnering with an influencer like F. Gary Gray because he boasts an immense social following of his own – 45.5 million followers on twitter alone – so he too helps promote the event to a likeminded audience.
The Secret To Sprite’s Success
While the Sprite Corner was very experimental in nature, it was well researched and executed in the perfect location. The secret to the Sprite Corner’s success has been its on-brand mission statement – to cultivate a new community of music, art, and culture – and its ability to authentically reach this goal. Not only does this mission align with Sprite’s tagline obey your thirst, but it has so far been very successful in raising brand awareness and generating organic social reach.
This surprise bodega won’t last forever, but it’s generating enough buzz to keep people talking about Sprite long after it’s gone.
Michelle Polizzi is the Content Coordinator at Brandfolder, a user-friendly tool for brand asset management. When she’s not busy creating content, you can find her bicycling around Denver or catching a live concert. She’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn.