A 1.5 mile string of grassy knolls with everything from food trucks, to carousels, contemporary art exhibitions and more. Is it the perfect space for brand and company activations or not?
If you’re still scratching your head about what the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is, then it’s already too late. You’ve got to go, immediately. Among one of the greatest examples of highway infrastructure/space reutilization, this string of parks, linking South Station to Faneuil Hall and North Station is the perfect outdoor space for Boston.
Hovering just feet above the dungy, dark, packed highway that is the hellish nightmare of interstate 93, the “Greenway” is arguably one of the biggest hotspots for walkers, joggers, and even avid outdoor lunch enthusiasts in Boston. In some ways, it’s Boston’s equivalent to New York City’s “Highline” district and is vastly underutilized outdoor space.
Bordering the financial district, Fort Point, much of downtown and even some parts of the North End, the Greenway is constantly full of food trucks, people and everyone aching for some outdoor time during their Monday through Friday workweeks. It even boasts a large number of contemporary art installations through the summer months, but there’s one major question remaining.
Massachusetts and much of New England is home to a vast plethora of companies. Consumer-oriented, biotech, finance, healthcare, commercial real estate – you name it, we’ve got it somewhere. Every sort of captain of industry that’s either headquartered here, or has planted one of their offices among the ‘Innovation corridor’ of Route 128 (also a parking lot from 6-10 am and 2-7pm) should be getting their name out there with activations and events, and the Greenway is the perfect place for it.
Boston is typically not the epicenter for events, but there’s reason that could be changing. With big happenings like Boston Calling, The Tall Ships, Red Bull’s Flugtag, Indy Car, the 2024 Olympics, Harpoonfest and more, Boston’s mind is beginning to change for events. Granted, it seems like every big idea that happens here, coincidentally gets killed here, but not everything…. Anyway, there’s reason to keep hope.
At least we’re trying to make things happen, even if Boston is still losing out on all the big experiential brand happenings, our day in the sun will come. And when it does, it’s certainly going to happen during the summer months here in our outdoor spaces.
Even the Mayor’s office is making a push for more events. The South End’s Food Market, Government Center’s Plaza, and other places like Haymarket are transforming day after day, inviting more people into outdoor spaces, and it’s fantastic. But, where are all the brands? Tents, iPads, free booze, t-shirts and snacks only go so far, but we don’t even have those most of the time.
The point is this: Boston just may be shedding it’s skin of being the conservative, sports-minded, monotone city of the past. Just look at events like the Block Parties in Dewey Square and other happenings where smaller brands and companies are putting themselves out there in front of consumers and workers during the day. Boston will get to the point of hosting big brand experiences some point, and when it does, the Greenway will be the perfect place to do it. Outdoor spaces like the common, the Greenway and even Fort Point are perfect for brands to activate, because people are relaxed, have time, and are more receptive to being engaged by brands and companies.
From a brand activation standpoint, it always matters what the experiences is (free t-shirts can only go so far) but more importantly, the emotional connection of the brand experience is what matters, and if you can get someone’s attention while they’re guard is down, you’re far more apt to turning them into a brand advocate, or selling your product.
Keeping in mind, while all the larger brand activations, events (things like Adweek, Comic-con, Design Week, E3, CES) and more happen elsewhere, Boston is usually not on the list of hosting these big, brand-oriented festivals. But, again….I sense the tide is changing on that.
Thousands of people are out and about on the Greenway during the week (arguably more than on the weekend) and it’s truly one of the best places for brands, companies and other retailers to interact with and engage with potential customers. Yes, the overall experience matters, and while brands don’t have to spend a lot of money to get themselves in front of a consumer, a more personalized interaction always sits better with millenials, and potential customers of all ages.
Some brands are already doing it, like Shock Top, smaller more nimble restaurants, but if you’re a big brand or consumer, wouldn’t you want to tap a powder keg when you can?
Get ahold of our team at Inphantry to chat about events, trade shows, product launches, interactive experiences and other activation work. We’d love to be that nimble team who help you activate the perfect user experience, at the right time.