While SXSW brand activations tend to take place for anywhere between two and 10 days, fashion retailer Express opted for a different approach this year.
Tapping into an element of festival “FOMO,” the clothing company built a one-day pop-up shop in downtown Austin billed as “The Express Bungalow,” offering a glimpse of its first-to-retail work concept shop opening in New York City later this month. The space was designed to be a reflection of the curated assortment that will be available at its new store.
“SXSW brings together individuals with world-changing ideas, and we wanted to meet them there to inspire and equip them to get to what’s next in their lives,” Jim Hilt, CMO for Express, told AListDaily.
The brand leveraged a 14-hour window with programming that aimed to offer educational and career-minded content and paired it with musical performances at night—all while promoting its latest lines of clothing.
The company also coordinated discussions concurrently serving its content marketing mix with live, career-centric podcasts featuring senior leadership from Facebook and Pandora. The conversations promoted a new survey that Express conducted with the The Levo Institute around the changing definition of work.
Express paired its SXSW activation with its “Game Changers” campaign, which focuses on athletes who harness passion, fashion and technology to achieve career goals.
Hilt said the festival was a natural place to continue scaling their marketing strategy, as the brand is looking for “inspiring individuals” to collaborate with through its partnerships and marketing programs.