There are museums and galleries all over the world, and then there’s art for social media: introducing InstaPops in America, small “movie” sets available to the public with environments created specifically for taking pictures to post on Instagram
InstaPops combine art and creativity. They engage the public, offering the chance to create original and highly visual content and taking advantage of Instagram to disseminate it
Thus, Instagram has become “THE” new way to create and launch a brand in America
With Instagram, pop up stores acquire a new role in branding strategies. By leveraging Instagram’s capacity for disseminating visual content, InstaPops overcome the limitations inherent to physical stores
The United States has long served as a harbinger of new ways to approach marketing.
The latest (successful) experiment once again involves the world of social media and sees artists and brands collaborating to come up with original digital content, created specifically for the purpose of getting the Instagrammer community involved.
It’s no coincidence that this tactic has been nicknamed “Immersive Experience” (a new phenomenon in which art “lend its services” to social media), or rather the staging of temporary installations that become original backgrounds for the perfect shot to post on Instagram, in the hopes of going viral.
Apartments and retail spaces in the center of cities like New York or Los Angeles are designed and furnished with the purpose of providing a perfect set in which to shoot, post, and share photos on Instagram
A Successful Case in New York: 29Rooms
Perhaps nothing embodies the nascent phenomenon of art conceived for social media more than “29Rooms”: 29 themed rooms under a single roof, a sort of artistic exhibit/playground, in which the public enjoys engaging in various activities, the most popular of which is, of course, taking pictures.
The idea was conceived by an online women’s magazine, Refinery29, and, more precisely, by its co-founder/creative director, Piera Geraldi, a third-generation Italian-American and winner of numerous awards in the world of new media and American enterprise. Hers is one of the most rapidly growing independent digital magazines in the United States, with a reach of 500 million people worldwide. With her entrepreneurial DIY (do-it-yourself) spirit, Piera is changing the way in which advertising and media communicate with their fans, through narratives and new experiences.
29Rooms is part of this experiment and has the objective of transferring the digital world to the real world, reinterpreting the topics addressed on the Refinery29 website (fashion, art, music, beauty, technology, etc.) in the form of a shared experience. The innovative concept was installed in an enormous empty warehouse in Brooklyn, where, for two weekends, it became the stage for original artistic productions as well as synergistic creations between artists and brands, capable of engaging the throngs of visitors.
The ultimate objective was not only to entertain people, but also to make them think. In fact, many spaces featured themes related to political causes and social and environmental issues (hot topics that are very important to Millennials). Last but not least, the idea was to have this experience converge into a marketing channel for the brands involved in the exhibit as well.
The result is a new style of branding and brand positioning: a fusion between creativity, art, and public engagement, exploiting the potential offered by Instagram
The creative individuals who regularly collaborate with the magazine in the conception of articles and videos also got to work, inventing a new narrative that was capable of telling stories in an original way. And designed to attract brands.
Re-imagining the brand itself in order to turn it into an integral part of the stories that are created in the “InstaPops” is fundamental. How Instagram-ready is your brand?
A project that’s focused on giving brands the chance to express their company mission or to promote messages that they’re trying to spread in that moment. Basically a new formula of “content marketing” that uses high quality content (capable of informing, educating, and entertaining) in order to attract a vast public, inspire customer loyalty, and, in turn, transform customers into spontaneous promoters of the brands that offer the best InstaPops.
With the slogan “expand your reality”, 29Rooms revealed itself to be a major opportunity: it attracted a huge audience during both weekends (selling out in just a few days), as demonstrated by the long line of people waiting to enter. A young, but also adult, audience that not only paid the price of the entrance ticket ($29), but also took on the much more valuable role of strengthening brand identity through hashtags, galleries, and selfies, a virtuous cycle that’s capable of engaging not thousands, but millions of people thanks to the multiplicative power of Instagram.
In America, creating content that’s capable of selling is a highly developed marketing technique, which is why the American market is constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to create and disseminate original content. In this context, Instagram has become the perfect online channel for hosting and sharing content generated by the general public
The Most “Instagrammable” Sets of 29Rooms in New York
The “not-to-be-missed” 29Rooms event was developed to offer the widest possible variety of Instagrammable options, with infinite opportunities to take unique pictures (angles, boomerangs, videos), within a thinking atmosphere. The featured topics were of true interest to attendees, and changed from one interactive space to the next. From the room designed by artist Carlotta Guerrero in which it was possible to talk with your inner child, to the “Know! Your! Rights!” room designed by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) to teach people about their civil rights, the latter in a distinctly vintage, 1970s-gameshow-inspired, style with a giant wheel to spin and a random trivia question to answer, intended to test one’s potential as an activist.
The “Dream Doorways” room, by artist Kali Uchis, was inspired by surreal interpretations of dreams, including doors to alternate realities, and a room dedicated to astrology and crystals, created by the specialized brand Hoodwitch, was selected because of growing reader interest in this topic. Even intercepted brands were in line with the topics that are of interest to readers of Refinery29. Other examples are “The Flavor Oasis” by Bai Beverages, the giant red ottoman with a mirrored ceiling for the “Moxy Playhouse” by Moxy Hotels, and Reebok, in support of women and featuring multi-level plays on words, through aerial silks for aerial dance and yoga and “Women Supporting Women” written on the wall. Many famous brands participated in this project: Revlon, Pantene, Aldo, Dr. Jart+, Harshey.
Finally, there was also an interactive element which encouraged visitors to put down their phones for a few moments and let themselves be swept up in the “dancey” atmosphere within the “House of Yes” room (a well-known nightclub in the Bushwick neighborhood), in which drag queens and ballerinas invited spectators to dance all together.
Which was ExportUSA’s favorite room? “Love Letter to the World” by the artist Cocovan. The idea was based on a project already present in 115 countries, which invited people to express a personal message of optimism to the world, through love letters written on endless rolls of paper, to symbolically create the longest love letter in the world, at 182 meters long.