Adidas is appealing to the Instagram generation with an exclusive event where visitors had to navigate a maze and compete in a vertical jump test
Bethany Biron/Business Insider
- Adidas is experimenting with the Instagram-friendly, ephemeral pop-up model in an effort to sell sneakers while also gaining social media traction.
- The retailer launched a one-night-only "performance enhancement playground" for visitors to test the Adidas Ultraboost shoe while participating in activities like navigating a maze, riding a seesaw, and competing in a vertical jump test.
- The venue is optimized for Instagramming potential, painted in bright colors and with delineated photo spots and hashtags emblazoned on the ground.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Though violent outbursts prevented Adidas from dropping its much-anticipated Arizona Iced Tea collaborative sneaker on Thursday, elsewhere in New York City the retailer was in the throes of building a very different type of shopping experience: an interactive adult playground.With a few hours to go before the Adidas Boost Experience was slated to open its doors to the public, we stopped in to try our hand at challenges that included navigating a maze filled with hundreds of bright yellow balls, riding a seesaw for the first time in two decades, and leaping as high as we could in a vertical jumping test.
"The idea is we can show up and provide this experience in a really important market, but also let it live and extend out to places like the Midwest and to all those people who aren't able to get to New York," Wes Petticrew, trade marketing manager at Adidas, told Business Insider.This is what it was like inside the Adidas Boost Experience:
The Adidas Boost Experience is situated on an unassuming block in Chelsea. The pop-up appeared to be the type of place you have to know about in advance, which added to the allure.
Once inside, we were immediately overwhelmed with the bright bursts of sunshine yellow emanating from every corner.Advertisement
As we wandered in, an Adidas associate — wearing, you guessed it, yellow — led us down a hallway lined with yellow arrows.
Eventually we reached a more secluded back room, filled with comfy cushions and vibrant art.Advertisement
The friendly associate led us to an area designated as "pick-up," where shoppers can come grab a pair of Ultraboost sneakers to prepare them for the pending activities.
As we laced up our sneaks, we admired the funky art and read inspirational facts posted on the wall, like: "Thinking about what you're grateful for releases positive chemicals in the brain such as serotonin and oxytocin."Advertisement
Once we were laced up and ready to go, we looked at a preview of the events to come.
First up is the maze, or the "Boost Your Brain" part of the experience. The exercise is designed for visitors to get a sense of what it's like to do a physical cognitive thinking exercise in the shoes.Advertisement
Next up is the seesaw, or the "Boost Your Creativity" part of the agenda. The seesaw is intended to evoke the playful energy of childhood while testing out the spring capacity of the Ultraboost.
Lastly, there's a vertical jump test, referred to as "Boost Your Future." The running jump motivates shoppers by letting them leap for a prize, showcasing the flexibility and bounce of the shoe.Advertisement
Before preparing to enter the maze, we browsed some of the latest Ultraboost styles and colors.
Ultraboost comes in styles for both men ...Advertisement
... and women.
Time to enter the maze! In advance of walking into the labyrinth, an Adidas employee gave us approximately five seconds to view a sheet of paper that detailed the way out.Advertisement
The journey of a thousand miles — or um, the exit from a maze filled with hundreds of yellow balls — begins with a single step.
There were so many balls.Advertisement
We were instructed that if you see a block of pathway with lines like this, you must turn around. We got a bit lost.
Eventually we made it through, and we didn't even make one bad joke that mentioned "Yellow" by Coldplay along the way.Advertisement
Riding the high of our maze navigating skills, we moved on to the seesaw. We were hesitant, but once we climbed on it admittedly took us back to childhood.
Scattered around the store we found symbols like this, encouraging social media sharing and promoting the hashtag #FeelTheBoost.Advertisement
Slightly disoriented from riding a seesaw for the first time in two decades, we moved on to our last activity, the vertical jump.
There are five different zones, depending on height. After you're assessed with a measuring stick, you take your place in front of your zone.Advertisement
With a running jump, we reached as high as could to pull a ticket that features additional prizes you can win.
After the vertical jump, you return to the back room to either drop off the shoes or decide to make a purchase.Advertisement
And that's a wrap! It was ultimately not exactly what our childhood playground experience was like, but a fun time just the same.
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