Trendwatch 2020: Brick-And-Mortar Locations As Ad Space

February 26, 2020

Traditional brick-and-mortar shopping offers customers more than an opportunity to purchase—it’s a chance to have a personal interaction with a brand. From the unique way a brand merchandises items down to the lighting and design, music and employees, a brick-and-mortar store experience is just that: an experience. As customers continue to move towards a digital landscape, brands are exploring new ways to break through the digital noise and offer customers tactile, sensory, and personalized experiences—effectively turning built environments into ad space.

Similarly, commercial real estate developers, architects, and investors are exploring new ways to reinvigorate historic, underused, or shuttered spaces that once served traditional brick-and-mortar purposes but struggle to remain robust in a digital economy. Brands and real estate developers alike are turning to firms like Skylight, a placemaking and venue development firm that combines adaptive reuse, redevelopment, and forecasting to transform traditional and struggling commercial spaces into immersive brand experiences.

Skylight specializes in developing “intentional short-term real estate opportunities” for brands—most often activations, pop-ups, and launch events. Conceptually, these opportunities are designed to reenergize an underutilized built space and give customers a tangible experience with a brand. Over the last decade, Skylight has developed the foundations of brand experiences for such companies as Amazon, Hermes, Nike, Hulu, Spotify, and Tesla. Brick-and-mortar locations include The High Line, St John’s Terminal, the Historic San Francisco Mint, ROW DTLA, and New York’s Bleeker Street corridor.

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