How Media Brand The Dodo Launched Its 17,000 Square Foot Pop-Up Space for Dogs (and Humans!)

Last month, The Dodo launched a month-long Halloween experience for dogs and pet owners in a sprawling 17,000 square feet pop-up space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  The Best Dog Day Ever event – which included toys, treats and plenty of canine fun – was an extended version of the super successful one day pop-up event The Dodo hosted last year that brought in over a thousand pups. For this year’s launch, the team projected over 10,000 pups and worked with brand experience agency CSM to make it a huge success.

Behind The Best Dog Day Ever launch

With last year’s ‘The Best Dog Day Ever’ launch, the brand realized there was an opportunity to do something bigger and longer-lasting with this concept. They also “naturally saw an opportunity around the [Halloween] timing, given the popular Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade and that pet owners love dressing up their pups,” states Brian Lee, EVP of Commerce at Group Nina Media, The Dodo’s parent company.  Lee also stated that his team had gone and seen other months long experiential activations, and really wanted to make sure this experience felt compelling and had scale.

To emphasize this huge event, The Dodo worked with CSM to make sure they were in the right location and space to draw the most traffic and awareness. As CSM states, “we were targeting pop-up spaces that had parks nearby, a big pet population” and an outside space that they could decorate to entice the dog walkers and pups passing by.

Why The Dodo loved this sprawling pop-up space

To find the perfect pop-up space, CSM and The Dodo worked with Storefront. “We loved the square footage and the openness of this Williamsburg space,” says CSM. “It’s a space that worked well with our vision and people were overwhelmed by the grandness of it all!”. The space is located on the busy Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, and it boasts high ceilings and large, open windows. “People couldn’t stop smiling when they walked in. It was just basic joy. That’s my biggest takeaway,” Lee adds.

[Here are our tips for decorating your pop-up space!]

The biggest challenge in launching this pop-up event was awareness. Considering that the public did not know what Best Dog Day Ever was, The Dodo and CSM had to figure out how to creatively express this concept, and how best to promote it. “The CSM team did an amazing job at organic, local outreach,” Lee says. Aside from subway ads, social media ads, and street teams, The Dodo also partnered with different cause-driven organizations to bolster their outreach and drive awareness.

“A big success we had was reaching out to those pet adoption and local organizations to really dive deep into our community,” CSM states. 

Their takeaways? That timing is key both to plan ahead for the pop-up shop, but to also determine whether it makes sense to do a month-long event, or one that only lasts a week or so. Since it was a huge success, the team is already planning next year’s event!

Here are more pop-up ready spaces to book in Williamsburg, Brooklyn!

Our guide to help make your next pop-up shop a success!


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