Cargotecture: Shipping Containers Red-Hot for Summer

From tech to CPG, beverage to toys, the beach to national parks, the shipping container is everywhere your events are this summer. Event departments are using shipping containers as the newest and hottest event structure for mobile tours, pop-ups, on-site activations and more. Here are five examples of this “cargotecture” in action.


The tech giant deployed a series of shipping containers retrofitted to look like giant boom boxes to promote its HP Jam Sessions Beats Edition laptops. In six markets, the brand planted a shipping container wrapped to look like a boom box for two days before an event to inspire curiosity and drive foot traffic. On launch day, the container unfolded to reveal a pop-up techno-mecca of laptop demo stations, PC gaming from EA, music-themed green-screen photo activations and an interactive, multi-touch digital graffiti wall. And the whole time, internationally recognized djs were spinning tunes from the Beats laptops to keep the crowd hyped up and passersby from passing by. Read more here.


Target promoted the redesign of its beauty department with a  cargotecture pop-up tour at which consumers received touch-ups and make-up tips, free samples and coupons. (The revamped beauty departments received improved lighting, testers and other shopping tools as part of a $1 billion remodeling project across the stores that was announced last year.) The tour launched in Massachusetts and traveled to Target stores in 20 markets on weekends before wrapping up in Arizona. Each stop featured a different designer or beauty brand, such as Maybelline, Sonia Kashuk or Jemma Kidd that is sold in the stores. Read more here.


Drawing inspiration from its Moto X, a completely color-customizable phone, the brand built out Moto X Kandi Shops (made from connected shipping containers) at EDM festivals. “Kandi” is an EDM culture word for colorful, beaded bracelets that festivalgoers create and trade. Throughout EDM festivals, often 10 to 12 hours long, consumers could enter the shop, choose and scoop handfuls of beads much like they would in a candy shop and create their bracelets at nearby worktables. Adjacent to the shop was a performance stage where festival-themed characters came out to perform. Rising from the footprint was a 60-foot-tall LED custom-built tower surrounded by a geo-fence technology virtual perimeter, which captured photos that consumers shared on social media with hashtags #MyMotoX and #MotoKandi. Throughout the festivals, the tower displayed graphics and light shows with the Motorola logo. Read more here.


The beauty company traveled the country with a  cargotecture anchored luxury hair salon to raise awareness for its Advanced Haircare line of products. Attendees received hair washes with L’Oreal products, samples and personalized consultations with stylists trained in hair analysis. Called The Studio, the salon was fabricated from a 20-foot steel shipping container that hydraulically expanded to 480 square feet of activation space in just a matter of minutes. The experience featured four styling stations, a hair washing station with running water, a sensory bar and a branded photo capture station. Attendees received one-on-one hair consultations with stylists who utilized a handheld video microscope diagnostic tool connected to a computer tablet that revealed the damage to hair caused by heat, styling and sun. Read more here.


At Lollapalooza, long-time sponsor adidas boosted its visibility by propping a 16-foot by 30-foot branded shoebox constructed out of shipping containers next to the stage it sponsored. The activation was part of an integrated campaign for the launch of its MEGA, a shoe that combined some of the best features from the brand’s past shoes and “supersized” them into one product. Inside, the brand custom-designed the shoebox to resemble an authentic diner with special touches like rotating cake racks packed with MEGA shoes. The design tied into the brand’s TV ads that featured a man going into a diner and ordering something over the top, but what he ends up with were MEGA shoes. Read more here.

Posted by Sally Maturana | Request as a Speaker

Dog lady of the Lake. I'm down to standup paddleboard whenever. Driven to create & eat food. Almost always interested. VP Events @SparksMarketing