Cosmopolitan, Macy’s To Debut AR Makeup Ads In October Issue

Macy’s has partnered with Hearst to place an augmented reality ad in the October issue of Cosmopolitan. The virtual make-up “try on” will allow both brands to promote digital engagement with young consumers.

For the first time, digital Cosmopolitan readers with an iPhone will be able to try on make-up using augmented reality. The ads will appear in the online version of Hearst’s lifestyle magazine next month to promote beauty products offered by Macy’s. According to WWD, the marketing strategy includes a new look to “try on” each month.

Macy’s shuttered around 100 stores in 2016 to focus on its digital strategy, which seems to be paying off. The legacy department store brand reported double-digit growth for its digital business in the second quarter of 2018. The legacy department store brand attributed this success to “a healthy brick & mortar business, robust e-commerce and a great mobile experience.”

Cosmopolitan‘s core reader base is between the ages of 18-34, so the publisher has been focused on integrating digital into its print strategy as well. In December, Cosmopolitan began printing Snapchat icons in the magazine that direct users to a product or ad through Snapchat Discover. The brand also partnered with Amazon to let digital readers explore product pages and make purchases.

Offering augmented reality would allow Cosmopolitan‘s advertisers to engage with this core demographic on a personal level, especially when selling make-up. Beauty ads are a staple in any lifestyle magazine, but readers have traditionally been limited to their imaginations—gazing on a professional model and wondering how the style would translate to real life.

For this reason, augmented reality has been a key piece of technology for the prosperous beauty industry. In an age of personalization and individuality—not to mention selfies—the ability to virtually sample a product has become a significant draw for young consumers.

Macy’s AR ad was developed by YouCam, a makeup app brand that has 470 million downloads in Google Play. L’Oreal integrated its worldwide makeup brands and collections into the app last year.

“AR connects the dots to create a very unique experience that cannot be replaced by any other channel,” Alice H. Chang, CEO of Perfect Corp., the parent company of YouCam Makeup, told AList in a previous interview. “Try-before-you-buy gives customers greater confidence in the purchase decisions. The impact of AR try-outs on cosmetic sales is real.”

Jeep Launches ‘Jeep Wrangler Celebrity Customs’ Web Series

The Jeep brand is stepping into the world of reality television with its first-ever web series competition called petition, “Jeep Wrangler Celebrity Customs.”

Hosted by ex-NBA star and current sports analyst  Jalen Rose, the six-episode series will pair celebrities Alex Rodriguez, Maria Menounos, Chris Stang and others with professional customizers. The goal is to modify 2018 Jeep Wranglers so that they so that they reflect the personalities and styles of each contestant.

The show forms the centerpiece of Jeep’s new marketing campaign, which encompasses digital, social and experiential elements. It also leverages a tradition among Jeep Wrangler owners, who often customize their vehicles to suit their personalities and adventures.

Audiences will be able to track each contestant’s progress through their individual social media channels in addition to Jeep’s channels on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

“Celebrity Customs” premiered on September 6 and additional episodes will air over the month. The show’s finale will take place on September 27 at a special event in Los Angeles where the winner will be announced. Not only will the grand prize winner walk away with the Wrangler Golden Grille Award, but they’ll get to keep the custom car they created.

But the campaign doesn’t end with the finale. After it airs, fans will be able to vote for who receives the Fan Favorite Award on until October 5.

Jeep Wrangler’s new campaign begins as the “Summer of Jeep” sales concludes. Earlier this year, the brand debuted the “Freedom and Adventure” TV spots, which highlights the brand’s history spanning the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s on through today. It features its first vehicles, which was used by soldiers during World War II.

The company also had a trio of ads that ran during Super Bowl LII, starting with Jeff Goldblum racing a tyrannosaurus rex through the forest in a Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom-themed commercial. Next was “The Road” with peaceful, meditative messages for Jeep Cherokee. The ads concluded with “The Anti-Manifesto,” which calls out brand manifestos that stretch the truth by having a Jeep Wrangler drive through a small lake and up a small waterfall. For added authenticity, the commercial points out that both the lake and the waterfall are man-made.

This Week’s Exec Shifts: Airbnb Snatches Groupon CMO; Tinder, eOne And Charter Name Marketing Heads

This week, Groupon’s CMO moves to Airbnb while Tinder, Hometown Food and PUBG Corp name marketing chiefs. High-level marketers were also appointed at eOne, RCA Records, Charter Communications and American Addiction Centers.

Check out our careers section for executive job openings and to post your own staffing needs.

Groupon CMO Decamps To Airbnb

Groupon’s former global chief marketing officer Vinayak Hegde has moved to Airbnb to head performance marketing across all its businesses. However, he won’t be serving as the lodging company’s CMO in name, even though the role has been vacant for almost a year. Hegde has been with Groupon since 2012, starting as the vice president of computational and growth marketing.

Tinder Appoints CMO

Tinder announced that Jenny Campbell will be the dating app’s new chief marketing officer. Campbell comes from working 20 years in marketing and leadership roles at Nike, 72andSunny and Wieden + Kennedy. Campbell is also a board member on at Makers, a feminist media company.

Charter Creates New Marketing Role

Charter Communications has appointed Kelly Atkinson to the newly created role of head of marketing for consumer and SMB. Her responsibilities will include overseeing the company’s digital, creative and marketing efforts, focusing on residential and SMB services. Atkinson most recently served as executive vice president of consumer cable and content at Rogers Communications in Toronto, Canada.

Marketing Chief Joins Hometown Food

Hometown Food Company, which owns the Pillsbury brand in addition to other baking products, has hired Dan Anglemyer as chief marketing officer. Anglemyer most recently served as the chief marketing officer for the Back to Nature Foods Company and has held senior positions at companies such as Mondelēz International and Kraft Foods Group

Developer Hires CMO To Grow Esports

Former Riot Games Korea esports head Quan Zheng Xian has joined PUBG Corp as its new chief marketing officer. He joins as the company executes a five-year plan to grow its esports presence with a World Championship and professional leagues across the world.

eOne Hires Marketing Lead

Entertainment One announced that it has hired Dora Candelaria to head its global film marketing division as executive vice president for marketing, film. In this role, she will be responsible for leading publicity and marketing for all of eOne’s film content. Candelaria joins from Paramount Pictures, where she most recently served as the senior vice president of international publicity.

RCA Records Ups Marketing EVP

RCA Records has promoted Carolyn Williams to executive vice president of marketing from her previous role as senior vice president of marketing. In this position, Williams’ expanded responsibilities will include leading the marketing staff while continuing to head campaigns for artists including Brockhampton, Childish Gambino, H.E.R., SZA and others.


Stephen Ebbett has been named as the new chief digital and marketing officer for American Addiction Centers. Ebbett is charged with leading the organization’s outreach to those seeking recovery from addiction. Ebbett most recently served as the Assurant insurance company’s chief digital officer prior to joining AAC.

Talking Rain Promotes VP

Talking Rain Beverage Company has appointed Sarah Gustat vice president of marketing. This is a promotion for Gustat, who was previously the director of marketing at the company.

Golden Leaf Hire Chief Marketer

Golden Leaf Holdings, a cannabis company, has hired Jeff Yapp as chief marketing and sales officer. Yapp most recently worked at Microsoft as a CEO strategic partner, and before that had stints at MTV/Viacom and Cablevision.

Marketing Chief Joins Captain D’s

The Captain D’s seafood restaurant chain announced that Chris Kuehn has been hired as chief marketing officer. His responsibilities include developing and implementing strategies that will drive brand awareness for the restaurant franchise as it continues to expand across the United States. Kuehn was most recently the chief marketing officer for Golden Corral, where he served for 10 years before joining Captain D’s.

Aberdeen Appoints Swiss Marketing Head

Aberdeen Standard Investments promotion of Vanja Brunner to its head of marketing in Switzerland. Her appointment comes as the company continues to assemble its Swiss business unit team.

Audi Exec Joins Northwestern

Jeri Ward, who most recently served as senior vice president and chief communications officer for Audi of America, is joining her alma mater Northwestern University as its new vice president for global marketing and communications.

Digital Marketer Joins Tennis Australia

Josie Brown has been named as the new chief insights and marketing officer for Tennis Australia. Her appointment begins later this month and Brown’s previous experience most recently includes serving as the APAC director of digital at JWT. Before that, she was an interactive marketing manager at Procter and Gamble. She is tasked with leading Tennis Australia’s digital marketing for events such as the Australian Open and the Davis Cup.

The Post Office Appoints Marketer

Former marketing director for the UK’s Royal Mail MarketReach division, Emma Springham, has joined The Post Office in the newly created position of chief marketing and digital officer. Springham has led marketing teams at MarketReach for two years. The Post Office hasn’t had a permanent marketing head since 2016.

Carwow Hires CMO

Vehicle shopping platform Carwow announced that Phil Lloyd has been hired to the newly created position of chief marketing officer. In his new position, he will oversee strategy for the brand to grow the business. Lloyd formerly served as the global head of advertising for the London-based car sales platform Paddy Power, and was most recently a head marketer at the mobile gaming company Snatch Inc.

Xiaomi Appoints Head Of Marketing, India

Anuj Sharma has been appointed as the head of marketing for Xiaomi India, tasked with overseeing the Chinese smartphone maker’s growth in the country. Sharma has worked extensively in the wireless technology industry, with appointments at Lenovo, Motorola and Razer.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, September 7. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

Global Director, Brand Marketing Beats by Dre Culver City, CA
SVP, Franchise Marketing Sony Pictures Entertainment Culver City, CA
VP, Marketing Disney Burbank, CA
Head of Lifecycle Marketing Dropbox San Francisco, CA
Head of Performance Marketing Strategy Uber San Francisco, CA
Head of Marketing, Stephen Curry Under Armour Baltimore, MD

Make sure to check back for updates on our Careers page.

Arby’s Uses New, Sarcastic Ads With ‘Archer’ Star To Reach Young Diners

Arby’s has enlisted the help of actor H. Jon Benjamin (Archer) to remind young consumers about its other menu items. Benjamin plays Arby’s “Head of Sandwiches” in a series of new spots launching September 9, using his famously sarcastic tone to complain about how people assume they only serve roast beef.

He blames the phenomenon on the giant signs that say, “Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich is Delicious” and experiences from childhood.

“Maybe it’s because the last time you went to Arby’s was with your grandparents who ate exclusively roast beef. Every meal. Somehow,” he quips.

The spots, dubbed “Arby’s: Core Sandwiches” calls attention to 17 other sandwich options available in its restaurants. In one video called “Looks Are Everything,” Benjamin’s character sarcastically points out that if Arby’s only serves roast beef, they offer a lot of odd-looking “roast beef” sandwiches, pointing to a Reuben, smoked brisket and a gyro.

When a voice-over recited Arby’s slogan, “We have the meats,” Benjamin quickly chimes in: “For sandwiches!”

According to the NPD Group, fast-casual dining is on an upward trajectory of five percent compared to 2017. Arby’s sarcastic ads are designed to attract guests between the ages of 18-24; the most popular age group for fast-casual.

Creative marketing helped Arby’s experience its most profitable year to date in 2016, bringing in $3.7 billion. Following its purchase of Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s is now a subsidiary of Inspire Brands which launched in February.

Under the helm of Inspire Brands CEO Paul Brown, Arby’s President Rob Lynch and Arby’s CMO Jim Taylor, the 50-year-old brand has experienced a turnaround thanks to a tongue-in-cheek social persona and a few strategic partnerships. The social media team often engages with the video game community, crafting items out of Arby’s food packaging to commemorate launches or important events.

Last year, Arby’s sponsored English golfer Andrew “Beef” Johnson and presented a series of light-hearted videos for Skratch. The spots, “Boo vs. Beef,” features Johnson and fellow golfer Boo Weekly as they challenge each other to Connect Four and imitating each other’s accents.

Pizza Hut Kicks Off NFL Partnership By Launching Digital Platform

The NFL has named Pizza Hut its new official pizza sponsor. In addition to football star-filled TV ads, the Pizza Hut is launching a new digital platform called Game Plan, which offers users deals, kickoff reminders for their favorite teams and weekly football-themed giveaways. Prizes will include Super Bowl LIII tickets, Bose speakers, New Era caps, Pizza Hut gift cards and more. Each order placed using a corresponding Hut Rewards account will count as an additional entry to win prizes, with a limit of one per day.

But Pizza Hut’s most engaging activation is on its boxes. The company is releasing special edition pizza boxes featuring all 32 NFL team logos, which will only be available during the regular season. In addition to feeding fans while helping them back their favorite teams, the boxes offer something extra—an augmented reality experience.

To play, users need to download the Beanbag Blitz app, which recreates the classic tailgate game Cornhole. It can be played as an ordinary mobile game, but in order to unlock the augmented reality feature, players point their smartphone’s camera to at the special edition pizza box. Once done, players can take turns with friends tossing virtual bean bags into a mixed reality hole.

“Our first national NFL campaign is all about delivering new and innovative experiences to football fans’ living rooms all season long,” said Zipporah Allen, chief marketing officer at Pizza Hut US, speaking with AList. “The new ‘Hut, Hut, Hut’ boxes, compatible with our newly launched Beanbag Blitz augmented reality game, serve as an interactive platform to immerse fans directly into some friendly game day competition.”

Pizza Hut is promoting the game through email banners, the company’s own social channels and public relations.

In a related announcement, Allen said, “We tapped into technology to deliver a truly immersive gameday experience to fans—specifically combining what they’re most passionate about: their team, the spirit of competition, and of course, pizza. Incorporating this AR component into our lineup of new experiences is broadening our digital portfolio and engaging fans in a completely new way.”

Offline, Pizza Hut will also tap into the energy of local fanbases through partnerships with the Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams. Fans will be treated to local activations, social impact initiatives and player partnerships throughout the season.

SodaStream Creates ‘Drowning Liberty’ Installation To Reduce Plastic Waste

As more companies take a stand against single-use plastic straws and cups, at-home beverage device maker SodaStream is highlighting the threat that disposable plastic bottles present with the launch of its “Drowning Liberty” installation at New York City’s Flatiron Plaza.

Created in partnership with the Oceanic Society, the installation is a 20-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty, “drowning” inside a steel cage that is filled with plastic bottles. The art installation will make its way to other locations, and it is designed to make people aware of the high rates of plastic pollution around the world.

SodaStream, which is in the process of being acquired by PepsiCo, is supplementing the campaign by creating a limited edition “Be the Change” bottle featuring drawings of Earth. It fits into its home carbonated beverage making machine and reminds users to love the world, reduce their ecological footprint and reuse.

Additionally, both partners created a sustainability pledge for people to sign, which commits them to switch to reusable bottles and reducing their plastic pollution. Free “Be the Change” bottles will be given to the first 10,000 people who take the pledge, and a percentage of sales during the event will be donated to the Oceanic Society.

“SodaStream stands up for what’s right and will always tell the truth,” said SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum in an announcement. “We’ve launched our pledge as a rallying cry. Together, we will liberate America from plastic straws, bags, cups and of course single-use plastic bottles—to significantly reduce the global plastic pollution epidemic.”

Drowning Liberty will be on display in New York City until September 5 before traveling to additional cities across the US.

SodaStream is in good company with its call to reduce plastic waste. Coca-Cola launched a similar sustainability campaign by releasing specially microchipped reusable bottles for its Freestyle dispensers. Meanwhile, its “World Without Waste” initiative aims to collect or recycle one bottle or can for each one sold by 2030. McDonald’s is also partnered with Starbucks in July to find alternatives to disposable plastic cups.

Reactions To Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ‘Just Do It’ Ad

Nike gained an enormous amount of brand attention this weekend when it named Colin Kaepernick the face of its 30th Anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The ad spawned passionate responses from fans and critics alike but as history shows, Nike knows and accepts the risk of such partnerships.

On Labor Day, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick posted the new Nike ad that shows his face and the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Kaepernick recently sued the NFL for collusion—alleging that he was prevented from being signed to a team after he began kneeling during the National Anthem.

Just as Kaepernick’s choice to take a knee spurred outcries support and criticism alike, Nike’s choice to make him the face of its campaign definitely sparked conversation online.

A number of social media users posted photos or videos of them burning Nike products or cutting the “swoosh” logo off. Others called for an immediate boycott. Hashtags began trending on Tuesday morning, including #JustBurnIt and #BoycottNike.

Several military veterans came to the defense of Kaepernick, however, saying that they fought for his right to protest peacefully. Many more fans, veterans and civilians alike, praised the football star for continuing to protest despite pressure from the NFL, whose viewership has since declined 10 percent.

Nike shares dropped three percent on Tuesday following social media backlash, but the brand undoubtedly knew the risks when it chose Kaepernick.

“We believe Colin [Kaepernick] is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, told ESPN.

Sports journalist Jemele Hill reminded her followers that money is a great motivator for Nike’s choice of spokesman. “I’m just here to remind folks that last year Colin Kaepernick was in the top 50 in NFL jersey sales, despite not being on a roster,” she tweeted. “Nike made a business move.”

According to Apex Marketing Group, the divisive Nike campaign has generated over $43 million in media exposure within its first 19 hours.

Always-On Influencers: Sourcing, Securing And Deploying Enough Content To Engage Audiences

Written by Vincent Juarez

Influencers are the ultimate form of people-powered, word-of-mouth marketing. An influencer’s ability to create and share brand stories, engage audiences, provide recommendations and ultimately motivate purchase decisions has redefined traditional marketing and created new channels for content.

In order to drive the most value from influencer based storytelling, brands must learn to go beyond the one-off approach that has dominated the industry. Ideally, brands take the best practices from “CRM” (customer relationship management) tools, and instead invest in an “IRM,” (influencer relationship management) where the emphasis is on the relationship, not the transaction. Those long-term relationships provide the content required to maintain visibility and motivate action.  

The relationship-based approach, however, has many challenges. It requires a skilled team of experts to manage the people and personalities behind the audience and engagement. It also requires an advanced toolset to discover influencers who are an authentic representation of a brand and are excited about long-term relationships.

As technology continues to evolve and provide marketing teams with a better understanding of their social audiences, it remains clear that leveraging data and insights are key components to launching initiatives that can establish emotional connections with large audiences. That combination of human expertise and social science allows brands to find their “influencer soulmates”.

Using Personality Clues To Find The Right Influencers

Technology, and specifically, artificial intelligence platforms are helping marketing teams review, digest and act on informed insights in ways previously impossible. Such technology is adding another dimension by helping savvy marketers look well beyond the standard demographics, reach and engagement of an influencer. By using AI to ‘read’ the social speech within a creator’s social feed, the process is further humanized and an influencer’s true character is revealed.

Unlike other solutions that apply a generic approach to consumer intelligence, marketing science platforms like’s Soulmates.AI are built to specifically understand, filter and recommend influencers based on expressed social speech. Widely accepted as a key indicator of persistent personality, understanding expressed speech can provide clear windows into the influencer’s motivations and interests. Soulmates.AI also uses a Knowledge Graph to provide context and minimize ambiguity for a better understanding of what influencers and their audiences are actually talking about. By seeking to understand an influencer’s personality, marketers will not only discover potential partners that will provide safe and valuable content, but could get to know them on a human level; creating a relationship as if the brand and influencers were soulmates from the start.

Cultivating Long-Term, Exclusive Relationships

Once brands have invested in humanizing influencer discovery and can see beyond the transactional nature of followers and reach, they’ll be able to engage in long-term influencer relationships. A ‘man and machine’ approach enables brands to feel the heart behind a story and the use the brains of data to fuel business decisions. With an understanding of both important elements, brands can nurture loyal audiences by securing persistent visibility alongside that influencer.   

Building Always-On Influencer Campaigns

Regardless of budgets, brands should look beyond quick initiatives and consider campaigns that build a narrative that provides product visibility over a course of months or even years. Ideally, marketers engage with a partner whose expertise is in building custom, multi-tiered influencer channel networks for a scaled, ‘always on’ content marketing strategy. In an ideal situation, the tiered structure includes hundreds of influencers that range from emerging micro to upper tiered “social celebrity-grade” talent.

While the “one and done” approach to influencer marketing can be effective, it often lacks the impact and authenticity of a longer term, relationship-based engagement. Consider Tinder vs eHarmony and the type of relationships that typically result from each.

Creating The Ideal Content Ecosystem

The most effective large-scale campaigns are built on a tiered approach of “Hero, Hub and Hygiene” content across multiple video and social platforms. While influencer content can effectively breakthrough ad clutter, the reality is that their audiences are distracted and inundated with brand messaging. The “always on” approach is the foundation for overcoming ad clutter and reinforcing authenticity. The next step is to determine the ideal mix of “Hero” premium, “go-big” agency-produced content starring influencers, “Hub” custom, brand-sponsored content or “Hygiene” native, grassroots type content. Once the ideal mix is determined, the content can be syndicated and even amplified through all relevant social platforms.

Calibrating Campaign With Actionable Insights

Data and insights are key to upfront discovery and backend campaign optimization. While standard view, impressions and engagement metrics are important, it’s key to take a multi-dimensional approach to evaluating the health of a campaign. Additional metrics are based on a combination of Natural Language Processing and human insights to gauge sentiment and Earned Media Value (EMV). EMV helps brands understand the dollar value of the content’s exposure based on views and all measurable engagements. Since EMV is grounded in actual media costs, it provides tangible, verifiable ROI estimates to quantify the true value of a campaign.

Conclusion And Takeaways

The digital, influencer and content marketing landscape are constantly evolving. The rules of engagement constantly change and competition for consumer mindshare is at an all-time high. While the thirst for constant stories has required data-driven insights, marketing science and technology, the ideal approach combines these tools with a high degree of human interaction and expertise.

After all, persistently engaging audiences will always require a good storyteller.  


About Vincent Juarez

As a partner at, one of California’s largest independent advertising collectives, Vincent is an expert communication executive who leads social and influencer campaigns for ION, the network’s social media agency. Most recently, he helped deploy an international influencer campaign for Intel Corporation, drove a social activation with Netflix and is leveraging powerful partnerships with top gaming creators to introduce Facebook’s virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift to mainstream audiences.  

LEGO Builds Full-Sized, Drive-able Bugatti Supercar To Prove New Brand Slogan

LEGO built a functioning, full-sized model of a Bugatti Chiron out of Technic blocks to prove the slogan, “Build for Real.” The car was unveiled on Thursday during the Grand Prix Formula 1 in Monza, Italy—an event that attracted over 185,000 fans last year.

The 1:1 reproduction was made out of over a million LEGO Technic elements and drives up to 18 mph, using 2,304 Technic motors and 4,032 Technic gear wheels. The rear spoiler raises, the speedometer works and the whole interior from seats to steering wheel was recreated entirely in Technic LEGO blocks. LEGO even created new types of transparent and load-bearing Technic parts just for this project.

“We wanted to push the boundaries of our own imagination,” Lena Dixen, senior vice president of product and marketing at the LEGO Group said in a statement. “[The Bugatti Chiron model is] a fascinating example of the LEGO Technic building system in action and its potential for creative reinvention.”

LEGO won’t be winning any races with its Technic Bugatti, but the project is a first for the brand. It is the first fully-functional, self-propelled, life-size car made of LEGO Technic blocks. Despite its complexity, the blocks have not been glued together.

The project was developed through a partnership with Bugatti who lent its official pilot, Andy Wallace, to test drive the finished LEGO model. In June, LEGO released a 1:8 Bugatti Chiron set that included 3,600 pieces and numerous details, down to an overnight bag under the hood. The set’s designer, Aurelien Roufflage, and his team decided that taking the kit full-sized would be the ultimate challenge in difficulty.

Not every consumer will be able to afford a $2.9 million Bugatti Chiron or the million parts needed to build their own full-sized version out of LEGO. However, the project succeeds in proving a point about the Technic block capabilities overall.

LEGO Group reported a decline in revenue for 2017 but CEO Niels B. Christiansen assured investors they would stabilize the business through product investment, effective global marketing and improved execution.

As for Bugatti, the luxury sports car brand is promoting its new Chiron model through several brand partnerships that include a watch by Parmigiani Fleurier and a limited edition bicycle by PG.

Bloomingdale’s Building Out Experiential Focus Through Revolving, Themed Pop-Ups

Brick and mortar retailers have taken major hits in recent years with more shoppers, particularly millennials and Gen Z, going online with their phones to purchase clothes and other goods instead of stepping foot in malls. But retailers can adapt to evolving shopping habits by offering pop-up experiences that encourage shoppers to visit physical locations.

Bloomingdale’s is the latest department store chain to recognize this trend, and it is fully embracing it by dedicating a large portion of its floor space to permanently host pop-up installations.

The spaces, called The Carousel, will take up over 1,000 square feet at each of four Bloomingdale’s stores in New York and California. The first themed event is called “Urban Explorer,” which launched on September 6 with massive wall video displays featuring New York City. Meanwhile, Carousel will showcase sportswear and accessories from brands that are both current and new to Bloomingdale’s. Each exhibition will be hosted for two months before switching to a new theme.

This comes shortly after Bloomingdale’s parent company Macy’s acquired the New York City experiential retail company ‘Story’ in May, appointing its founder and CEO Rachel Shechtman as brand experience officer.

Bloomingdale’s seeks to use these ongoing pop-up events to attract both locals and tourists to its stores. Plans for the spaces also include food tastings and fitness classes, and attendees can already look forward to trying out Cioccolada vegan chocolates in addition to meditation classes.

“It’ll be like a Broadway show, with limited showing,” Bloomingdale’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer Frank Berman in an interview. “That’s the sense of urgency we want to have around the space.”

The Carousel will debut in two New York City locations in addition stores in San Francisco and Century City, and will be designed to stand out as though they’re separate boutiques. If they prove successful, the installations could find their way to additional locations. Shoppers will be able to preview the experiences online from the Bloomingdale’s homepage and through related video content.