In the highly competitive space of experiential advertising, The Bait Shoppe - an alluring 360 offering with multi-concept capabilities - stands tall above the rest. Operating out of New York, LA and Toronto, the creative agency has spent the best part of a decade fine tuning its specialism - experiential production - transforming innovative ideas into global campaigns for major brands like Budweiser, Sonos, Spotify, and Coca Cola.
Leading the charge is the name of the game for The Bait Shoppe who, out in front of the competition early on, identified a tangible gap in the experiential market - between creative and production. Acting on this instinct, the business got to work ideating innovative ways to pull narratives which presented opportunities to craft shareable, stand-out campaigns for brand partners. As a result, The Bait Shoppe quickly assumed the shape of a turnkey creative vendor capable of executing eye-catching, wild and wacky campaigns, while also delivering high impact consumer storytelling.
The Bait Shoppe has refused to let up on the gas since its founding in 2016. From launching in-house fabrication capabilities which grants teams the freedom to get inventive with all manner of experiential installations, as well as build within budget and develop an understanding of technical limitations; to adding a public relations arm of the business in 2019 which manages the handling of PR and compelling, clear-cut storytelling.
The hard work and unrelenting up-scaling has clearly paid off, as the agency’s trophy shelf proudly displays a slew of industry accolades including the title of AdAge’s Experiential Experiential Agency of the Year 2021.
Constantly devising better ways to manage and improve execution, speed, and agility has seen the agency keep pace, helping brands move quicker as a result. Through forward-thinking and sharp-eyed understanding of the rapid speed at which brand advertising moves, The Bait Shoppe remains ahead of the competition, mobilising the swift and seamless deliverance of big bold ideas to global audiences.
Noticing that creative ideas are all too often secondary to execution has led The Bait Shoppe to prioritise the value of earned experiences, by transforming brand campaigns into memorable experiences that tell a wider brand story with socially-driven PR potential.
The strategy behind this approach is exemplified by the Da Vinci of Debt, a creative collaboration with Natural Light Beer. At the centre of this campaign was a large-scale art installation, erected in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, to maximise exposure. The stunt, designed to shine a light on the head-spinning cost of college tuition in the US and the crippling impact of college debt, would celebrate the return of the Natural Light College Debt Relief program which, since 2018, has handed out $1 million of relief to help fans of the beer pay off student loans.
The idea behind the cleverly constructed concept was that each college diploma represented the average cost of a four year college education - $180,000 - giving the chaotic vortex of diplomas, suspended mid air, a value of $470 million. This lucrative price tag bests the most expensive art ever sold at public auction - Salvator Mundi, a 600-year-old Da Vinci painting that sold for $450 million in 2017 - drumming home the ludicrous cost of student debt in the United States.
More agile and more responsive than ever, to keep up with the speed of culture, The Bait Shoppe followed up the Da Vinci of Debt with another smart OOH campaign to get people talking. In collaboration with television network, NBC, The Bait Shoppe devised an OOH marketing campaign for the Bravo show - Buying it Blind. Breaking away from traditional expectations of advertising on pre-approved real estate, the creative team delivered the very literal idea of hiding three different homes under fabricated Bravo-branded structures. Located in New York, Chicago and LA, and driven by locally targeted social media promotion, this ambitious project captured the attention of foot traffic and resulted in earned media attention across the country.
A third example of a seemingly impossible task, dreamt up and executed with finesse by The Bait Shoppe, is Spotify’s ‘Sponsored Highways’ campaign. Informed by data predicting that 80% of US travellers would be vacationing domestically during the summer of 2021, the creative agency was inspired to meet consumers on the road as they travelled across highways in America. Liaising with the Department of Transportation, The Bait Shoppe worked with Spotify to sponsor nine individual billboards located on highways in California, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New York, naming each of them after iconic ‘road trip’ pop songs. This ingenious 360 idea quite literally drove consumers to the audio streaming platform.
It seems safe to assume there is nothing The Bait Shoppe can’t do. Experts in experiential, the agency has reached optimum shooting performance and is in prime position for global domination in 2023. The company has acquired dream clients, expanded talent to over 100 employees, and continues to add tentacles that help push their creative agenda forward.
This multitude of creative appendages have won them copious awards and culture-defining clients including TikTok, the reigning supreme leader of social media. In the coming year the company will be working with the platform to lead the charge in the live music space, partnering with the sound-first platform to bring campaigns to life. Intent on making sure dollars are spent in a meaningful and impactful way, The Bait Shoppe’s focus for the year is to become recognised as a fully realised strategy shop notorious for grabbing your attention by breaking free of the confines of traditional advertising.