FUSE FRIDAYS: Innovate or die

Friends ran for 10 seasons from 1994 and 2004 but its popularity hasn’t decreased in the 20 years since the first episode aired.  However, like any established and successful product if a brand doesn’t find innovative ways to promote and enhance its product, eventually it will become irrelevant and dated.

Comedy Central UK has brought a touch of New York chic to London’s trendy East End this September with FriendsFest.  For 5 days, The Boiler Room on Brick Lane is being transformed into the ultimate Friends experience, giving fans the chance to immerse themselves into the world of Friends.

FriendsFest features a full scale set of Monica’s apartment, home to some of the best-loved scenes from the ever-popular series. An exhibition of original props and memorabilia will also feature, plus fans can enjoy a coffee at the Central Perk inspired café, have their pictures taken on the unmistakable orange sofa or by a replica of the iconic fountain. They can visit a pop-up “Rachel” blow dry salon, hang out in a New York themed courtyard, enjoy a game of foosball with friends or simply put their feet up and relax on a lazy boy watching episodes of the show.

With FriendsFest, Comedy Central are providing fans with a truly unique experience that has already resulted in widespread media coverage, with great organic social exposure guaranteed over the duration of the event.  It’s a promotion that can be replicated across markets, as it targets the emotional attachment and nostalgia consumers have towards the show.  This approach can be replicated in all industries, especially media where we are constantly being asked to reinvent ways to talk about the same products.

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