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Activating Brands in the Summer: 2017

The nights are lighter, hotter (especially this week where I keep awaking and wondering if I’m suddenly in Spain), people have more time – because hey, we have more daylight and we’d be anti-social-damned-vampires if we weren’t going to use that daylight – and yes, we are probably all a bit happier (Vitamin D) and sociable (plenty more to do when it’s not freezing or raining). Welcome to Summer.

So, who is maximising on this season of sensational weather (mostly, but not consistently here in the U.K.), plus our collectively improved moods, and who is doing it well? These following experiential events / brand activations / opportunities for people to get free stuff are my favourite starts to the summer so far.

Topshop’s Dry Water Slide:

From the 25th May until 4th June you could have had the chance to spin and slide in Topshop’s virtual reality water slide, where you would have travelled through the store (physically) and seen yourself (digitally) rubber-ring-riding through Oxford Street and Topshop’s flagship store in London. Dressed in a giant inflatable and Oculus VR glasses, the shoppers weren’t there to be fashionistas, they were there to have fun! If they didn’t feel summery enough navigating (technically blind-folded) through a twisting, turning slide, visitors could also smell the scent of sunscreen throughout the London store and grab themselves a soft-serve ice cream once they reached the “splash” at the end of the big blue tunnel.

Dream Van

Images taken from: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/05/25/topshop-transform-oxford-street-giant-water-slide-vr

Food Network’s Ice Dream Van:

Speaking of ice cream… Now two days in action, Food Network has launched its first ‘Ice Dream Van’ in Golden Square in central London. What is an ‘Ice Dream Van’, exactly? Well, it’s the ice cream van of dreams, of course. It’s where adults can go back in time with their taste buds and enjoy Black-Jack-flavoured ice cream alongside 80s popular classics. Why? Food Network discovered (after commissioning some research) that 56% of adults would like to return to their childhood. So, what better way to do this than to go to the window of an ice cream van and taste the sweets you haven’t tried since you were 10?


On my way to grab lunch today I was handed a rather curious freebie in the form of an upside down Orangina can of orange juice. Tasty as it was, why was the label on back to front? To encourage shaking, and a shake up of your day, with Orangina! We all know that orange juice tastes better when it’s shaken and not stirred. The freebies, or ‘sampling activity’ began juicing up our streets last week and will be running until September. Apparently, it’s aiming to reach two million consumers by the end of the campaign.

Moschino Magnums:

Another ice cream one (can you tell I’m craving one?). The iconic chocolate ice cream brand, Magnum, has teamed up with the designer brand Moschino to give consumers the chance to create their own kinds of Magnum in a pop-up store. With a chance to single dip or even double dip their Magnums in a choice of over 20 toppings, the brand is essentially saying, “Go on, treat yourself.” I think I should, don’t you think you should? I mean, those 20 toppings include fantastically fashionable flavours such as blackberry crunch and black lava sea salt. The Pleasure Store, as it is to be known, will serve bespoke ice creams, as well as one curated by Jeremy Scott, creative director of Moschino. It starts on the 27th June and will be happening until the 10th September.

By Emily Johnson - PR & Social Media Executive

"Whichever activation you stumble upon, get those freebies while you can! And embrace the summer"

Hendrick’s Gin Cucumber Hour:

Got any cucumbers lying around in your fridge? Or any you were going to scare your cat with and decided against it? How about exchanging it for a Hendrick’s Gin? Sadly, if you did have one, the cucumber-shaped ship has sailed. On the 14th June from 5pm til 8pm, donned ‘Cucumber Hour’, Hendrick’s Gin were offering customers the chance to exchange a cucumber for a fresh Hendrick’s and Tonic. I mean, surely carrying a cucumber to a bar is far more intriguing than carrying your wallet.

Whichever activation you stumble upon, get those freebies while you can! And embrace the summer.