A giant cherry hanging in front of an open mouth greets visitors as they step into what is billed as a "fun, wholesome, and very on-trend" museum encouraging Londoners to get involved and make their own art.
Just around the corner they can jump onto a watermelon seesaw, and then enter a dark purple mirrored-room with hundreds of small balls hanging from the ceiling to mimic grapes. Giant cut-outs of pineapples are next; then there are outsized satsumas hanging from the ceiling; the next room has an inflatable of an avocado in a green ball pit; and the final room features a large swing where guests take a seat under a sign saying, "say peas!"
The colourful and interactive experience, by two creatives at brand experience agency Imagination Ozie Foster, senior producer, and Nick Burdett, project director, has been inspired by a business trip to Los Angeles where they came across "Instagrammable and shareable spaces". They worked with Kru Live to put on the exhibition at the Truman Brewery in London throughout August.
Burdett tells Campaign about the process he and Foster went through to deliver the activation.
Campaign: How did you come up with the idea for Plant Pop?
Burdett: It started with an idea about education and learning, but we opted for the idea of escapism to avoid making what we considered a boring museum. It meant we could create more inspired moments that would look great in photographs.
What did you want people to take away from the experience?
First and foremost a great experience. We felt it wasn't enough to create a picture moment. We wanted to create genuine moments of happiness that could be captured in a picturesque setting. Which is why we have huge props, ball-pits, swings etc. These are simple things that have spread happiness for years and years. We just needed to design them to meet our theme.
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome these?
Funding. We have had to build physical materials, which cost considerable amounts of money. We had to source funding and investors to believe in the idea before we could build anything, which isn't an easy process.
Marketing pre-event. It was very hard for us to drum up attention and pre-sales before the event as we had nothing to show people. All we had was a slogan and some marketing copy to sell the idea, which just isn't enough for people.
In our current very visually-focused world, people need to see what they're buying before they buy it. So building buzz pre-show was very tough. Meaning we had to wait until we were live to start creating content to attract people to the experience.
What can brands can learn from the activation?
Experiences really are the most powerful way to interact with consumers. An Instagram ad, a TV ad [or] a magazine article just do not compare to someone touching and experiencing a brand. It gave us instant feedback. People can't hide a smile, or a laugh. And it works the other way.
Anywhere in the experience that people were slightly disappointed in we could get that feedback instantly and pivot and make changes so no one else would feel like that.