For more than 25 years Arizona Iced Tea has been a staple in grocery stores, delis and bodegas in the US and increasingly in countries in Europe and Asia. Its 99-cent tall can has accrued a devout following and frequently appeals to early ’90s nostalgia. To celebrate it all, the family-owned, NY-based brand has launched their largest marketing effort in the company’s history—not a difficult task as the company doesn’t advertise. Their week long 99c pop-up store features bright, colorful products and cherry blossoms galore. There are T-shirts, lapel pins, caps, totes, drink bottles, skate decks and more available for purchase—all emblazoned with their different logos and styles from over the years, many available for in-store customization, and most in limited editions. But the main attraction might be the installation itself, a photogenic space for Instagram enthusiasts to enjoy that honors the brand’s aesthetics.
From the bodega-style shop front to the Golden House inside (resembling, in a cartoon-ish way, traditional Japanese architecture), cherry blossoms and a bridge over a mini koi pond, there are plenty of backdrops one wouldn’t expect from the neighborhood. It’s clever, especially when Spencer Vultaggio, one of the founder’s sons and Arizona’s CMO loves the irony of having a pop up with affordable products in SoHo’s luxury-packed retail landscape: “Aside from here you can’t get a shirt for $14.99 or a hat in this neighborhood.” Further, he adds “It’s not logo-centric. It’s aesthetic. It brings the brand to life—and lets people have a green tea experience, too.” Beverages in the shop are free, and in addition to the dozens of wearable products and accessories the brand is also the first place to taste some of Arizona’s new edible products.
It’s the brands biggest activation in 25 years. “We have such a fierce, loyal following because we never shove traditional advertising down people’s throats,” Vultaggio continues. “Our price point is great and our market was built over the years. It’s why the clothing makes so much sense. People love our brand. There’s a style to it pertaining to the ’90s. You get this feeling—this general sense—that it is Arizona.” Vultaggio and his brother Wes, the company’s Creative Director and his co-conspirator in creating the pop-up, wanted the concept to be inspiring while also honoring their consumers. The brand worked with NYC experiential agency Mirroball to create the store and the products inside.
“Of course we are a beverage brand,” Vultaggio continues, “but at this point we are a bit bigger than that. We are part of culture. Our big cans, you already know where to find them in bodegas in New York. But it’s important for us to stay relevant and keep an eye on what is happening in culture.” This lead to their foray into clothing in particular. All of it was something that they had been discussing for awhile, a pop-up in particular, but no one ever suspected it would be this size. It expanded for impact. “Crazy is key and I think we went a little bit crazy,” Vultaggio adds. We agree.
The AriZona pop-up 99c store is located in NYC’s SoHo (43 Crosby St) and is open to the public now through 21 May, 11AM-8PM.. You can also view the products online now.
Images courtesy of AriZona