Rent The Runway merges pop-up with mobile advertising through its Compass Coffee promotion in D.C.

WHAT HAPPENED: Earlier this month, Rent The Runway’s mobile pop-up emerged at six Compass Coffee locations across the capital over the course of five days to advertise its Unlimited membership program.

Why it matters

  • At each coffee shop, RTR decorated Compass Coffee with balloons and window decals, offering visitors a free cup of coffee and a $100 discount for a 60-day Unlimited trial in exchange for learning more about the membership. Consumer brands partnering with coffee shops is not new—Shinola’s New York flagship has a cafe by The Smile and in 2018, Glossier gave a San Francisco coffee shop, Rhea’s Cafe, a pink makeover where it launched a month-long pop-up. But as more digitally-native brands look to retail as a customer acquisition tool, RTR’s micro-pop-up strategy stands out for combining caffeine with pop-ups and mobile advertising.
  • RTR’s strategy avoided building out its own spaces, with can be expensive, especially when the store is a temporary pop-up. Instead, its pop-ups acted as a roving billboard for the brand. According to the company, it took three hours to set up the pop-up in a new Compass Coffee location and about the same to deconstruct at the end of the day, while typically, a pop-up buildout can take about six weeks. RTR also intelligently used a cluster technique, popping up in D.C. in order to drive more traffic to its Georgetown store (one of the company’s five existing physical locations). The drawback, however, is that RTR wasn’t able to showcase a large assortment of products. But like RTR’s foray into select WeWork locations in late 2018, which allow subscribers to return their items at more brick-and-mortar spaces, the Compass Coffee promotion provided RTR a new platform to voice its brand and connect with individual consumers.