By Michael O'Connell Posted April 8, 2009, 11:42 AM EDT
Beverage maker Glacéau, known on the streets of New York for its considerable distribution of free VitaminWater throughout the summer, wanted a more tangible vehicle for its latest product launch. So to introduce the lower-calorie VitaminWater10, the company constructed a 10-day pop-up on lower Broadway to show consumers how they can burn off the drink's titular 10 calories.
“We wanted to do something different than our sampling trucks,” said Glacéau regional marketing manager Hallie Lorber, who worked with producers and designers at MKG Productions to conceptualize and execute the space, dubbed the “Des10ation.” “We needed a way to physically take these people aside and let them know how little 10 calories really is.”
But rather than attempt to lure consumers into some sort of new fitness regime, the VitaminWater team aims to extol its product's virtues by showing guests how they're already burning calories without even being aware. A model stationed in the window demonstrates to pedestrians that the motions involved in taking a shower or blowing bubbles all demand calories. Inside, there are stations for different 10-calorie activities, such as posing for photos in the photo booth, playing tennis on Wii, and a few minutes on the computer at the pop-up's Wi-Fi station. (Apparently, even a few minutes updating the world via the increasingly ubiquitous Twitter can shave 10 calories.)
“With street sampling, you only get three or four seconds with the consumer,” said the company's district marketing manager, Danielle Hansen. “Something like this allows us to actually have conversations with people and give them the full brand experience.”
The full experience requires a bit more time and energy than sending brand ambassadors armed with totebags full of bottled water to high-traffic areas. Construction of the pop-up demanded five days of round-the-clock activity from MKG to completely transform empty space, which most recently served as a retail outpost of mobile carrier Helio. Staffers were placing the last bottle in the “10” mural just hours before the kick-off party on Thursday.