Friday Five, August 14: A Quick Summary Of The Top 5 Articles From This Week

08.14.2020 Articles

COVID-19 has affected many industries, albeit some more than others. However, one industry that’s taken an extra-hard hit is experiential marketing. As the United States began to wage war against the pandemic in early March, conferences and events across the country were cancelled, and experiential marketers were left to wonder, “what’s next?” Although the industry is still changing every day, it’s thankfully seeing some progress in the right direction.

In today’s “Friday Five,” we explore fun experiential marketing news such as Blue Bunny’s new “Ice Screen Truck,” a permanent brick-and-mortar dedicated to Sour Patch Kids, and the promising state of face-to-face events in America. And, of course, it would hardly be a “Friday Five” blog if we didn’t discuss Amazon, Walmart, or shopping malls. Read below for a quick summary of five top articles from Adweek, Forbes, CNBC, Chain Store Age, and The Drum!

1) Blue Bunny’s Ice Cream Truck Turns Your Driveway Into a Movie Theater

Adweek – August 5, 2020

Blue Bunny recently announced plans to visit five different U.S. cities with an “Ice Screen Truck” to host outdoor movie nights and bring some “Funlightenment” to a summer like no other. According to Adweek, the truck is outfitted with a truck-sized movie screen on the side, and it will make stops in Denver, Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Le Mars, Iowa. The truck will also come equipped with ice cream treats, T-shirts, social distancing blankets, and masks for attendees. The announcement is a positive sign for the experiential marketing industry, which has been suffering during COVID-19. Joe Brooks, VP of Marketing at Wells Enterprises, says the truck will “help adults battle boredom during this very unusual summer, by bringing accessible fun directly to consumers when they need it most.”

2) Walmart Takes A Smart Step By Teaming Up With Instacart On Delivery

Forbes – August 12, 2020

In another bid to compete with Amazon, Walmart just announced a new partnership with Instacart. According to Forbes, “Sam’s Club (owned by Walmart) currently has a partnership with Instacart, and this announcement will strengthen the reach of the relationship and should help the entire Walmart operation fend off competition from Amazon.” Thanks in part to COVID-19 and the increasing popularity of grocery delivery services, Walmart’s e-commerce sales increased 74% in the second quarter of 2020, and Amazon’s curbside pickup of online orders increased over 200%. In the age of same-day and one-day service, quick deliveries are essential to success. By adding Instacart to the business mix, not only can Walmart position itself to compete with Amazon’s Whole Foods division, but it can also compete with other omnichannel grocery chains.

3) Grocery Stores Might Be The Next Big Thing To Move Into Malls

CNCB – August 11, 2020

The biggest mall owner in the U.S. recently hinted at the possibility of opening more grocery stores in malls to help curtail vacancy rates and boost foot traffic. Until COVID-19 hit, popular gathering spaces like food halls, movie theaters, and gyms helped to improve the popularity of malls. However, stay at home orders and business shutdowns put a temporary hold on that trend. By incorporating grocery stores in malls, experts believe that people will be more inclined to shop at the surrounding retailers, as well. Although the idea of building fulfillment centers in malls is still a possibility, that type of change requires rezoning logistics, whereas grocery stores are already classified as retailers. According to CNBC, the mall owner “expects the turmoil in the industry will ultimately make it stronger.”

4) Check Out The First-Ever Sour Patch Kids Store

Chain Store Age – August 12, 2020

Sour Patch Kids is celebrating its 35th anniversary by opening a permanent brick-and-mortar store in New York City. According to Chain Store Age, “the new store opened with full safety precautions in place, including limited store capacity to ensure plenty of space for customers.” Additionally, social distancing guidelines are in effect, face coverings are required, and the candy station, tongs and scoops are regularly sanitized to protect the health and safety of visitors. Although COVID-19 has affected the experiential marketing industry, Sour Patch Kids is determined to power through: “With this store as our new permanent home, we want our fans to know that the Kids aren’t going anywhere. We welcome visitors to join us for a colorful, flavorful experience whenever they’re ready to explore the city again.”

5) With Most Americans Still Not Attending Events, Experiential Industry Reemerging Slowly

The Drum – August 11, 2020

Nearly 75% of U.S. consumers say that “for brands to be successful today, they must connect with consumers in real life.” That said, in-person events have been severely impacted by COVID-19. So, what does that mean for the future of brands? According to The Drum, “even with the current restrictions in place, nearly a third of Americans have attended product demonstrations, one-in five have attended pop-up shops, and 17% have gone to brand installations.” Although the majority of consumers won’t feel comfortable attending large-scale events in the next year, it’s safe to say that people still value in-personal experiences and engagements. Americans are desperate to regain some sense of normalcy, which presents marketers with an opportunity to promote virtual experiences and face-to-face events as the country opens back up.

We hope you enjoyed this weeks “Friday Five”! Did we miss any big news developments? Let us know in the comments below, or on any of the BDS social media channels such as Instagram or Twitter @BDSmktg. We love to hear feedback from our community of industry professionals. Until next week!