The Participation Agency Builds Crazy Out-of-Home Campaigns

Boutique shop mixes digital and experiential


Who Ruthie Schulder (l.), president; Jessica Resler, creative director

What Experiential marketing firm

Where New York

Even people who don't live in New York know that New Yorkers have no living space. So a few years ago when Ruthie Schulder and Jessica Resler transformed a vacant lot on the Lower East Side into a '50s-style suburban backyard (complete with lawn chairs and pink flamingos), the whole city took notice. And that was the point. Timeshare Backyard could be rented by the hour, and Coca-Cola's iced tea brand Fuze wound up booking it for eight weeks. The grassy retreat was the work of Schulder and Resler's The Participation Agency, which has since created a Lollapalooza tent for Red Bull and a bike-riding flash mob for Topshop. The six-person agency is currently busy with another installation—itinerant musician crash pads in New York and Austin, Texas—for Sour Patch Kids. The client wants to get down with pop culture, and it probably will, considering all the hashtag decals stuck on the walls. "We tie the live experiences to digital conversations," Schulder said.

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