Brand Activation Campaigns at Shopping Centers


Designed to attract the public’s attention, brand activation campaigns are one of the most effective marketing tools in the malls.

Have you ever visited a shopping center and come across an installation or stand promoting a specific brand? In advertising jargon, these events are known as brand activation campaigns: activities designed to attract the public’s attention and connect with potential customers.

Also known as BTL (below the line) activations, these are advertising campaigns directed at specific groups of people through direct and personal contact. On the other hand, ATL (above the line) activation campaigns have a broader scope and are carried out through mediums such as TV, radio, movies, print publications and digital. Both terms were coined by the prestigious Procter and Gamble agency during the 50s. BTL activations can go from a single exercise —such as leaflet or flyer distribution— to the implementation of a technologically complex stand, like the campaign that Disney developed at a shopping center. Disney used large white screens to reproduce the shadows of some of their most iconic characters, imitating the movements of people walking in front of them. Once enough spectators gathered, the Disney characters popped out of the screen to greet their audience.

There is much to explore about the effectiveness of ATL and BTL marketing. That said, if you are considering implementing a brand activation campaign at a shopping center in the region, you should keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Schedule a visit with the shopping center’s administration office for consideration. They can advise you on specific requirements and guidelines, comment on previous successful activations, and put you in touch with the advertising agencies that organized them.
  2. If there is a brand activation campaign in process at a shopping center, reach out to the brand representatives to learn about the type of success they’ve accomplished with their strategy.
  3. Connect with the public relations person or department in your company or visit a few advertising agencies to learn about available options they can offer you.
  4. Consider offering your audience some sort of incentive in exchange for their email address (make sure that you have a sound privacy policy in place), to feed your potential client database. This will allow you to connect with them afterwards.
  5. Finally, keep in mind that the best advertising strategy frequently involves both BTL and ATL elements. Therefore, it is always a good idea to consult with companies specialized in the type of advertising you are considering, so you can make an informed decision about the best strategy for your marketing efforts.