Easter 2017: Best Brand Activations
With high-street footfall over the Easter weekend forecast to increase 8.8% from 2016 in the UK alone (Springboard, 2017), Easter still represents a fruitful seasonal opportunity for retail.
We highlight the best brand initiatives, including interactive packaging, flash sales (see Cyber Easter Monday), virtual treasure hunts, brand academies and an upsurge of pet-powered initiatives.
Pet Power: Animals Channel Spring Message
- Exploiting the global boom in demand for pet products/services (see Pet Parents), pop-up mall Boxpark Croydon in South London is catering to urbanites too time-poor or spatially restricted to have a pet by hosting a temporary petting zoo.
- American retailer PetSmart has installed photo booths in all its North American stores, inviting pet parents to take pictures with their furry companions and share them on social media. It also launched a capsule collection of Easter-themed pet apparel, accessories, toys and treats.
Also look out for Prestige Pets in Retail’s New Prestige Players, publishing May 11.
Treasure Hunts of the Old-School and Virtual Variety
- British shopping centre chain Intu has partnered with US children’s TV channel Nickelodeon on a Pokémon Go-inspired augmented reality (AR) game for its mobile app. Kids are invited to trawl the destinations to virtually ‘catch’ a series of Nickelodeon All-Star characters. Users ‘hunt’ by scanning semi-hidden images around the shopping centres with their smartphone camera.
- Property developer British Land, which owns several UK shopping centres, has launched AR game Gnomee’s Egg Hunt in 18 of its malls. To play, shoppers download the free app and follow a five-step trail. Prizes include toys, vouchers and iPads.
- South London department store Morleys is inviting shoppers to participate in a blindfolded hunt for hidden prizes in a 2.4-metre-high maze constructed from living hedges.
Academies & Craft Workshops Tap Edutainment Dollar
- At US brand Toys R Us’ UK stores, children can partake in a movie-making class facilitated by toy manufacturer Mattel. Using the brand’s Movie Maker app, kids choose between three sections of footage from the movie Fast & Furious and create their own extra scene by adding sounds, visual effects and explosions from a menu.
- British department store Selfridges is hosting bunny-themed costume creation and egg-decoration classes in-store, supported by its in-house designers. Additionally, Italian fashion brand Stone Island is running a DJ academy for kids alongside music school London Sound Academy within its children’s concession.
- Ahead of Easter, British fashion brand Christopher Raeburn hosted a toy sewing class in its East London studio (on April 8). Participants chose their own fabric combinations, working alongside the designer and his team to make their own toy rabbit.
- Boasting an entire floor dedicated to chocolate eggs, UK department store Liberty is running chocolate-sampling classes championing luxury chocolatiers (April 4-15).
Easter Egg Packaging Design Highlights
- British department store Harrods has collaborated with London digital print designer Camille Walala – who specialises in textiles and interiors – on an exclusive, limited range of 12 Easter eggs. Boasting vibrant prints hand-painted by an artisan chocolatier, each egg costs £350 ($437).
- Nestlé Confectionery’s Smarties and Milkybar Easter range includes tech-enabled packaging. Both contain colouring pencils to colour in a picture on the packaging, which subsequently appears in animated form when used in conjunction with a free app.
See also Packaging Futures 2016-17: Digital.
Retail Festivals: Cyber Easter Monday & Shopping Galas
- Emulating the hype surrounding Christmas’ Cyber Monday, Amazon has launched an Easter Deals shopping festival, offering discounts of up to 50% in flash sales that surface every five minutes. Running from April 3-17 between 6am-6.45pm, quantities are limited, with Prime members enjoying a 30-minute preview.
- Intu’s collaboration with Nickelodeon also involves the Nick Jr. All-Star Easter Takeover across all its locations (April 2-23), including themed photo booths, glitter tattooing, and ‘meet & greets’ with the All-Star cartoon characters. Merchandise is purchasable on-site.