As part of its debit card release, Venmo took over a pop-up truck in the heart of NYU’s campus, for 2 days. As younger, millenial customers are Venmo target market, the company teamed up with Evolve Concepts Inc., an agency specializing in experience-driven concepts and activations.
We spoke with Mike Cadena from Evolve, who lead up this project, to learn more about the brand’s strategy and success of the campus activation.
- What did the Venmo team hope to create?
The objective was: a bright visual to get students excited and photographing it to share on social media. The original idea to build awareness was doing ground-level billboards that were very large in scale and would feature the different, vibrant colors that the Venmo card would be released in. This was feeding into the trend that when you see something appealing, younger people especially love to take pictures in front of it and post on social media.
However, when we explored the New York market to do just that, we looked for space, but we couldn’t find anything that was going to work for what Venmo specifically wanted, especially with a close proximity to the NYU campus. As I continued to search for something that would deliver on a visual level, I saw the glass truck as an option on the Storefront site, and found it super interesting. It was unique and would appeal to the younger college demographic; when we shared it with Venmo they thought it was both interesting and fun.
- How did you go about creating and designing this pop-up truck?
We were given the template through the truck company, you can design the truck however you want to wrap it, and we worked with Venmo’s creative team and ours to come up with a design for the truck. As we were working through the design to represent the campaign, the idea was to leave one of the glass doors uncovered so we could utilize the interior as well. That’s when we came up with the idea of leaving the window unwrapped, so we could invite people to come inside and come up with their own unique moments to capture; we just supplied some props, balloons and confetti.
- Talk to me a bit more about the branding for this truck.
Everything about the mobile pop-up truck was to match the color scheme of the campaign; which was about the different color choices you can choose for your Venmo card. We had basic Venmo branding on the truck’s exterior, but really emphasized the connecting the Venmo name with those colors as this was merely a teaser campaign and we wanted to entice the customers. This was just about awareness.
- How was the turnout for this 2-day event?
It was crazy! The truck got swarmed; we did not expect this! People were surrounding that truck for the full 2 hours to get free stuff. We definitely hit around 400-500 people over 2 hours; there was a constant group of people.