Pop-up Jazz Club – Using bus stops to appeal to a captive audience – part two

3rd August 2015

Sticking with bus stops (and appealing to the senses) this week, we’re heading to Pittsburgh, USA to take a look at this tiny pop-up jazz club. Billed as ‘Pittsburgh’s smallest jazz club’ (although surely there can’t be many jazz clubs that are smaller than this in the world?) this bus shelter is another example of some clever marketing people ‘thinking outside of the box’ and trying something other than the usual, tatty bus stop poster…

This bus stop has been transformed into Pittsburgh's smallest Jazz Club

Jazz is one of Pittsburgh’s greatest exports and the aim of this bus stop is to promote it as such, with help from the MCG Jazz Mission – a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving, promoting and presenting jazz. The stop, located at 9th Street and Liberty Avenue pumps out a selection of jazz music provided by MCG Jazz, in crystal clear quality at the push of a button – and was funded with a $1,000 grant from an initiative called ‘Awesome Pittsburgh’. The pop-up project was installed on the 6th July and will be in place until the end of September. In addition to the music, the shelter’s interior is decorated with pictures of many of Pittsburgh’s homegrown jazz heroes.

Amy Kline, marketing manager at MCG explains the motivation behind the idea:

“The intent is to promote jazz music as Pittsburgh’s greatest arts export, and to remind people that jazz music – and art – is fun, familiar, and everywhere, we want to introduce both national and international audiences to Pittsburgh’s jazz legends.”

All of the bus shelters in Pittsburgh are owned by a company called Lamar Outdoor, who helped MCG Jazz to put their idea into action.

As with our earlier post, where bus stops have been used to promote football, with sights, sounds, smells and goal posts (and more buttons to press) this shift from 2D to immersive marketing – with the added bonus of a captive audience – provides a playful and memorable way of presenting your message to potential clients. We think more retailers should capitalise on some of the ideas presented here to see how they might use them to get their own message across.


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