One of the things I love about working a stone’s throw from Soho, is the fact that you never know what the next pop up shop will be. This time I was well and truly (pleasantly!) surprised by Garnier’s announcement of The Blends’ Room – a pop up dedicated to their range of Ultimate Blends. So, of course, I had to go and see it today!

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Now, beauty pop ups definitely are not an uncommon feature, however I was surprised that a large FMCG brand would opt for a set up that is predominantly prevalent in our beloved sector of premium lifestyle, drinks & spirits. Yet, when I arrived at The Blends’ Room in the heart of Soho, it all made sense. Not only was the venue beautifully curated as one would expect within the beauty world, this curation brought the whole concept together. Cage-like statues, created bespoke for the event, showcased the individual products in the range through scents and live samples of their main ingredients. With products on shelves around the room, video installations highlighted their different ‘personalities’. I was incredibly impressed by the use of scents and sensory immersion, something I have only really experienced within more premium product activations, but they also felt innately authentic to this mainstream brand.

After wandering around taking in the different installations, I was greeted and guided to the best shampoo for my hair from the range to take as a sample, whose bottle I then had the chance to personalise with my name. This personal interaction and expertise made me further understand the value of this pop up – it really does provide a full, authentic brand experience, which is so sought after both by brands and consumers alike.

The whole pop up is supported by a braids bar (big shout out to the stylist who managed to get a braid in my short, rather unkempt hair!), a GIF booth which links to social and allows the chance to win free Garnier Ultimate Blends for a year, and most importantly (in my opinion) a range of wellbeing talks and classes. These supporting events (ticketed, but free of charge) add a level of legitimacy to the brand experience – from a talk by Hilary Rowland, Founder of Boom Cycle, to participating in a Beyoncé Barre class (gutted I missed out on that one!) Garnier have listened to their key audience and understood what drives them, and how to reach them. Canny media placements this week in London press, and a savvy social activation have helped tapped into the busy London Millennial’s social diary….

Overall, I was overly impressed by the entire experience, and can see this being a ground breaking event for the category – I’m intrigued to see what is to come next!

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