Pop-Up Magazine: Conversational Marketing for Live Magazine Format

Pop-Up Mag Logo

Introducing his third “issue” of Pop-Up Magazine to a sold-out audience at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco on Friday night, Doug McGray described the event as “an unrehearsed work-in-progress” — a table-of-contents full of personal stories, magazine essays, radio features and mini photography exhibits, all performed live. The evening’s event isn’t captured on video or assembled and printed on paper like a regular magazine. It’s a rough-draft magazine that never intends to become its own finished product.

My favorite part, of course, was the advertising. Instead of hanging their logos on wall-mounted banners or handing out free samples in gift bags, sponsors had to climb on stage and perform their pitches live, or give permission to let the Pop-Up crew insert their messages between the editorial performances. The co-founder of a boutique wine label took to the mike to tell the audience how she and her partner quit their jobs in finance to launch a vineyard and “live the dream,” and then she invited us to try out her product in the greenroom after the show. Chef and food author Bryant Terry (pictured below, without a flash) told the story of an Oakland urban garden that spread backyard to backyard down a whole block — and then made a cocktail, sponsored by Skyy Vodka, with Meyer lemons and other ingredients from backyard(s) garden he described.

Bryant Terry with Skyy vodka drink

When it was announced that the had taped a few gift certificates behind seats in the theater, the woman behind me said “Wow!” When’s the last time you heard someone react that way to a print ad in magazine made of paper?

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