What Experiential Marketers Can Learn From the Museum of Ice Cream’s Meteoric Rise

Bonin Bough and Trina Chan discuss the value of experiences.

Editor: Nick Gardner
Headshot of Nick Gardner

The Museum of Ice Cream opened its doors in New York in the summer of 2016, a pop-up art exhibit created as a passion project by its founder. However, it quickly became obvious that the “museum” had the potential to be something much greater. On opening day, there was a line around the block and customers had to be turned away after the Instagram-focused exhibit reached capacity, recalled Trina Chan, the Museum of Ice Cream’s head of partnerships, at Brandweek 2019.

After having to close its doors due to wear and tear on the exhibits from the sheer number of guests, the Museum of Ice Cream eventually reopened as a permanent exhibit in New York this October. In the meantime, it had expanded to four cities across the country, with international plans in the works.

The Museum of Ice Cream is one of many examples illustrating the importance of experiential activations in both marketing and as independent businesses ventures. Bonin Bough, chief growth officer at Bonin Ventures and a member of Adweek’s Advisory Board, knows this fact better than most, having helped save the Oreo brand from potential irrelevancy with the deployment of experiential campaigns. Bough has also consulted for and invested in startups that are using experiential as the backbone of their businesses.

Bough and Chan discussed experiential marketing and the Museum of Ice Cream at Brandweek earlier this month. Watch the full video of their conversation above.

Nick is a video producer at Adweek and host of the Gen ZEOs podcast.