Brands get mobile for summer, and it has very little to do with smartphones

With the proliferation of smartphones, the meaning of the word mobile has shifted from its humble origins as a means by which movement is made possible to something that implies wireless interconnectivity. But this summer, several brands have decided to wind back the clock and give the phrase ‘brand mobility’ a retro twist.

On 29 January, Rekorderlig Cider and DarkHorse PR kicked off the ‘Swedish Taste Tour Caravan campaign’ by taking a scarlet painted, retro caravan to media houses and large corporates in Auckland. Following the success of this initial trial run, the caravan is taking to the road again, and this time it’s heading to summer hotspots throughout New Zealand.  

Those lucky enough to encounter the red chariot will be treated to a spread of summery treats, including the Swedish cider, Kapiti ice creams and Swedish dishes conceptualised by Zomer Café’s head chef Jon Jordan.

But involvement in the campaign isn’t limited to just food and drinks, with several other brands also latching on for the ride.

Clinique has come on board with a sun-safe station, which will provide visitors with product trials. Vodafone is making sure that smartphones stay connected with a Wi-Fi hotspot. And Volvo’s new XC60 will be the driving force behind campaign.

Darkhorse co-founder Liam Taylor says that it wasn’t difficult to get the brands on board with the project.

“Rekorderlig is an exciting brand, and the other companies knew that they would get recognition through the tour,” he says.

Taylor adds that although none of the other brands were paid for their involvement, it was “very important for [Darkhorse] to ensure that the presentation of the brands was done in a way that appealed to the Kiwi market.”

“When the initiative was first launched in the UK, they used a Citroën food truck, but [we felt]that caravans are more synonymous with New Zealand summers,” he says. “So we built it from scratch and tried our best to stay true to the pop-up concept.”

But Rekorderlig isn’t the only brand to use the pop-up approach this summer. The eye-catching red caravan will have to tussle for consumer attention with Corona, because the beer company is also hitting summer hotspots in a renovated Airstream van.

In addition to serving its beers, Corona has arranged a line-up of Kiwi musical acts to perform at all its stop-offs.

This summer has also seen Jacob’s Creek, the Australian wine producer, embrace the pop-up fad with its ‘Blend’ experience, which has been running in Takutai Square since 28 January.

At a time when consumers tend to turn their TVs off, close their laptops and head outside, brands are responding in an old-school fashion by presenting their messages in a tangible form at locations that attract holiday traffic.

But this doesn’t mean that brands have discarded the technological aspect entirely. Those in attendance at Corona Airstream gigs have been encouraged by the MC to snapchat pictures of the event, and Rekorderlig has started #SwedishTasteTour to incite Twitter conversation centred on the tour.   

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