Burrow finds unique media space for Harry Potter-inspired ads

The brand convinced landlords to rent out empty storefront windows for the "never done before" interactive campaign.

There’s only so much you can say about your brand in a Facebook ad, says Burrow CEO Stephen Kuhl.

That’s why the furniture marketplace has taken a pretty unconventional approach to its latest media space.

Activations went live today in empty store windows across five locations in downtown Manhattan -- taking advantage of the overwhelming surplus of vacant retail space in the city.

"Traditional forms of advertising are becoming very common for brands like Burrow," Kuhl told Campaign US. "It is thus increasingly important to find new, unique ways to interact with customers."

The idea came from Burrow advisor and seasoned retail executive, Ken Pilot, who noted that very few companies have been able to convince landlords to rent out window space in empty storefronts at a reasonable price because it limits a potential tenant’s view into the property.

"After a recent visit to Harry Potter World in Orlando, I was inspired by the interactive window displays in the park, so I worked with Ken and our creative team to create a unique, memorable interaction with potential customers that celebrated leisure." Kuhl explained. "Ken connected us with several landlords he knew around the city, and we garnered enough interest to go live with them this month."

Each display features a Zoltare-esque fortune teller named the Lord of Leisure, lounging on a Burrow loveseat or armchair. When people walk by they’ll be prompted to text the number provided to receive a fortune. When they send the text, the Lord of Leisure will come to life, wave his wand over his crystal ball and tell them their fortune. At least five users each month will win free Burrow products.

The stores, looked after by three different landlords, are in Christopher Street, Avenue of the Americas, Bowery, Mott Street and Kenmare Street.

Kuhl said Burrow was able to convince the landlords to rent space because the ads are so unique. He did not disclose media cost, but said the space was rented at a percentage of the landlords’ monthly rent rate with "flexible deal."

"It’s important to create multiple unique, memorable touchpoints with customers in order to stay top of mind, and to tell our story more effectively," he explained. "It’s challenging to communicate that Burrow cares about leisure, is thoughtful about design, and is uncompromising on using sustainably sourced materials, all in a Facebook ad.

"We will utilize different channels to communicate different aspects about our brand. We’ll communicate the other parts of our brand on our website and through other channels.

"Our creative, interactive displays have never been done before. This advertising strategy reflects our brand: doing things differently to connect with our customers on a deeper level, while still having a little fun."

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